WikiLeaks on Tuesday released thousands of documents that it said described sophisticated software tools used by the Central Intelligence Agency to break into smartphones, computers and even Internet-connected televisions….The initial release, which WikiLeaks said was only the first part of the document collection, included 7,818 web pages with 943 attachments, the group said. The entire archive of C.I.A. material consists of several hundred million lines of computer code, it said.
Hmmm. I’m beginning to think the only computer in Washington that hasn’t been hacked is Hillary Clinton’s private server. So where did this stuff come from?
WikiLeaks indicated that it obtained the files from a current or former CIA contractor, saying that “the archive appears to have been circulated among former U.S. government hackers and contractors in an unauthorized manner, one of whom has provided WikiLeaks with portions of the archive.”
I gather that the tools in this archive are mostly bits of malware that can be inserted into smartphones and other devices. Once there, they can intercept communications before they’re encrypted, and then relay the plaintext data back to the spies who put it there.
The stuff appears to be fairly recent, but I wonder how valuable it really is? Technology changes so fast that the life of a malware bug is probably measured in months these days. You find something you can insert into a Samsung TV in 2014, and by 2016 new models are out with different features and new code. Ditto for everything else. I’d certainly be interested in hearing more about this from folks with a working knowledge of how these kinds of hacks operate.