On Tuesday, March 14, WikiLeaks announced over Twitter that it had contacted major tech companies in the U.S. to help protect consumers from CIA malware:
On March 7, WikiLeaks released part one of “Zero Year,” a series of data dumps comprised of thousands of CIA documents detailing some of the surveillance programs conducted by the intelligence agency. There were some startling revelations from the massive publication that have mostly been overlooked by traditional media outlets.
READ MORE: 6 Scariest Finds from the WikiLeaks CIA Dump
For instance, according to WikiLeaks, internal documents suggest that the CIA’s Center for Cyber Intelligence has developed numerous “backdoors, exploits, malicious payloads, trojans, viruses” to access remotely the most popular smart devices, including phones, tablets, Samsung TVs, and even vehicle control systems.
CIA hackers even brag about having the “dankest trojans.”
The Samsung TV hack from the program code-named “Weeping Angel” has garnered the most attention and has been turned into a punchline by late night comedians like Stephen Colbert. However, when looking at everything WikiLeaks alleges, it doesn’t even scratch the surface of nefarious programs that could potentially be used against consumers or threaten their privacy.
The CIA explicitly denies that they are using these programs for broad surveillance on U.S. citizens. Assuming for a moment that is true, it doesn’t mean consumers could not be potentially hurt by the CIA’s actions. WikiLeaks alleges that the CIA often “hoards” vulnerabilities to software and tech in order to exploit them for their own cyber arsenal.
“Serious vulnerabilities not disclosed to the manufacturers places huge swathes of the population and critical infrastructure at risk to foreign intelligence or cyber criminals who independently discover or hear rumors of the vulnerability. If the CIA can discover such vulnerabilities so can others,” states WikiLeaks.
More document publications are expected from WikiLeaks. When exactly the rest of “Zero Year” will release, however, is unknown. Stay tuned.
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