WikiLeaks Seeks to Work With Companies in Wake of CIA Data Leak

10 March 2017, 12:52 | Robert Harris

A Samsung smart TV. Flickr Kārlis Dambrāns


The whistleblowing organization released 8,000 "Vault 7" documents and files on Tuesday, March 7, that it claimed were obtained from an "isolated, high-security network" within the CIA's headquarters in Langley, Virginia.

Tuesday's leak of more than 8,000 documents touched off an global uproar, as some of the spy agency's most closely guarded cyber tools were allegedly revealed to the world.

He added that WikiLeaks wants to disarm the CIA's "key attack code" before publishing more material.

The CIA hadn't yet confirmed or denied the information at the time of publication, but WikiLeaks does have a long track record of releasing top-secret government documents. "The American public should be deeply troubled by any Wikileaks disclosure created to damage the intelligence community's ability to protect America against terrorists and other adversaries", CIA spokesman Ryan Tripani said. The hacking arsenal comparises several hundred million lines of code.

The WikiLeaks disclosures describe clandestine methods for bypassing or defeating encryption, antivirus tools and other protective security features for computers, mobile phones and even smart TVs. NSA whistleblower William Binney noted that in the past the NSA, FBI, and Central Intelligence Agency were used by then-president Nixon during the Watergate Scandal.

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WikiLeaks said the archive was circulated "among former US government hackers and contractors", before one of them passed it onto the whistleblowing group - suggesting it was an insider similar to Edward Snowden who handled the documents.

The hacking abilities and programs apparently occurred between 2013 and 2016, where a variety of devices, including Apple's iPhone, Google's Android, Microsoft's Windows and Samsung's TVs, became microphones known as zero day exploits. US intelligence agencies have concluded that the hacked emails were obtained and then given to WikiLeaks as part of a cyber campaign orchestrated by the Kremlin. There is no proof that the hacking tools have actually been used with the permission of the United States government and no evidence that the tools are capable of doing what they are claimed to do.

"That's because he sees these hacking techniques as ways of identifying journalists and their sources, including WikiLeaks' own sources".

The C.I.A., which has maintained that it has "no comment" on the authenticity of the new trove of Wikileaks documents, insists that its tools are for foreign cyber-espionage and that it does not target USA citizens for surveillance. It can also allegedly use your phone's camera.

Once tech firms have patched their products, WikiLeaks plans to release all of the data - what Mr Assange called "a lot more information" about the hacking tools - to the public. Wikileaks claims it has never released a false document.

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