Out-Law News 1 min. read

Wikileaks claims new CIA leaks show extent of hacking tools

Wikileaks has published what it claimed are confidential documents belonging to the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) that highlight the agency's ability to hack into popular consumer devices.

The CIA has not confirmed the authenticity of the documents published by Wikileaks, which claimed the agency had recently "lost control of the majority of its hacking arsenal including malware, viruses, trojans, weaponised 'zero day' exploits, malware remote control systems and associated documentation".

Wikileaks said the material, which consists of "several hundred million lines of code", detail "the entire hacking capacity of the CIA". It said the material "appears to have been circulated among former US government hackers and contractors in an unauthorised manner", and that one of those individuals had shared "portions of the archive" with it.

Wikileaks said that the leaked documents show how the CIA has the capability to access and control smartphone devices, include iPhones, as well as devices running on Google's Android and Microsoft's Windows operating systems. Details of how the CIA and UK security service MI5 can control Samsung smart TVs are also contained in the documents, it said.

In a statement to Out-Law.com, Apple said it is "deeply committed to safeguarding our customers’ privacy and security".

"The technology built into today’s iPhone represents the best data security available to consumers, and we’re constantly working to keep it that way," Apple said. "Our products and software are designed to quickly get security updates into the hands of our customers, with nearly 80% of users running the latest version of our operating system. While our initial analysis indicates that many of the issues leaked were already patched in the latest iOS, we will continue work to rapidly address any identified vulnerabilities. We always urge customers to download the latest iOS to make sure they have the most recent security updates."

Out-Law.com asked Samsung, Microsoft and Google for a statement in response to the Wikileaks disclosures but did not receive a response.

According to a BBC report, Samsung said that the protection of consumer privacy and device security was "a top priority" for the company and that it was "urgently looking into" the report published by Wikileaks.

Microsoft said it was also aware of the report and was "looking into it", the BBC said.

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