Yesterday WikiLeaks published thousands of documents revealing top CIA hacking secrets, including the agency’s ability to break into iPhones, Android phones, smart TVs, and Microsoft, Mac and Linux operating systems.
It dubbed the first release as Vault 7.
Vault 7 is just the first part of leak series “Year Zero” that WikiLeaks will be releasing in coming days. Vault 7 is all about a covert global hacking operation being run by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
According to the whistleblower organization, the CIA did not inform the companies about the security issues of their products; instead held on to security bugs in software and devices, including iPhones, Android phones, and Samsung TVs, that millions of people around the world rely on.
One leaked document suggested that the CIA was even looking for tools to remotely control smart cars and trucks, allowing the agency to cause “accidents” which would effectively be “nearly undetectable assassinations.”
While security experts, companies and non-profit organizations are still reviewing 8,761 documents released as Vault 7 archive, we are here with some relevant facts and points that you need to know.
Here’s Everything You Need to Know About Vault 7:
WikiLeaks Exposes CIA’s Mobile Hacking Secrets
Vault 7 purportedly includes 8,761 documents and files that detail intelligence information on CIA-developed software intended to crack any Android smartphone or Apple iPhone, including some that could take full control of the devices.
In fact, Wikileaks alleges that the CIA has a sophisticated unit in its Mobile Development Branch that develops zero-day exploits and malware to “infest, control and exfiltrate data from iPhones and other Apple products running iOS, such as iPads.”
Some of the attacks are powerful enough to allow an attacker to remotely take over the “kernel,” the heart of the operating system that controls the smartphone operation, or to gain “root” access on the devices, giving the attacker access to information like geolocation, communications, contacts, and more.
These types of attacks would most likely be useful for targeted hacking, rather than mass surveillance.
The leaked documents also detail some specific attacks the agency can perform on certain smartphones models and operating systems, including recent versions of iOS and Android.