Items tagged with CIA

Back in early March, WikiLeaks gave the world an early glimpse into just a small sample of the hacking arsenal at the disposal of the CIA. As part of WikiLeaks’ “Vault 7” dump, we were made privy to software hacks that targeted Android- and iOS-based smartphones, Windows- and OS X-based PCs and even Samsung smart TVs. Today, WikiLeaks released the CIA’s actual user guide for “Weeping Angel”, the exploit use to hack Samsung smart TVs. We’ve also learned that Weeping Angel is actually based on another piece of malware, “Extending”, that was developed by the British MI5 spy agency. Weeping Angel (and... Read more...
The latest bombshell to come out of WikiLeaks’ Vault7 series of leaks from the CIA, exposes a tool codenamed “Grasshopper”, which allows operatives to deploy persistent surveillance and hacking payloads on target Windows-based computer systems and remain undetected from popular anti-malware and anti-virus tools.WikiLeaks has an array of documentation on-line, including an in-depth user’s guide for Grasshopper. The user’s guide explains that Grasshopper is “a software tool used to build custom installers for target computers running Microsoft Windows operating systems”, which seems straightforward... Read more...
Are you worried about the CIA cyber-espionage toolkit that was just revealed on Tuesday? Well, Julian Assange apparently has your back. Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, recently promised that his organization would help companies like Apple, Google and Samsung to defend themselves against the hacking tools -- the very tools that the organization is set to unleash in full to the world. Assange remarked that "We have decided to work with them, to give them some exclusive access to some of the technical details we have, so that fixes can be pushed out." Many of the exploits are currently... Read more...
Several technology firms have issued statements after Wikileaks published a massive cache of documents alleging that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) had developed methods to hack popular electronics devices, including iPhones, Android handsets, and Samsung smart TVs. Dubbed "Vault 7," the data dump is considered the largest public reveal of confidential documents related to the CIA.If the documents are real, they contain detailed exploits on popular devices that would allow the CIA to snoop on users and even take control of gadgets. The documents, which are dated between 2013 and 2016, purportedly... Read more...
It appears that WikiLeaks has struck the motherlode. The non-profit organization, which has gained notoriety over the years for publishing secretive and often classified information, has just revealed a massive information dump of files obtained from within the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). WikiLeaks has named this latest information release ‘Vault 7’ and it includes over 8,700 classified documents that were obtained from the CIA Center for Cyber Intelligence (CCI), which is located in Langley, Virginia. The first question that we asked ourselves when presented with this information was... Read more...
It looks as though the National Security Agency (NSA) crown jewels are about to be fondled by the rest of America’s intelligence agencies. The NSA monitors and collects various types of communications including emails, phone calls, and even transmissions conducted by our foreign allies (and foes). As we learned from the the Edward Snowden leaks, this information is stored in bulk and is one of the reasons for the ever-increasing use of encryption in our smartphones (see Apple vs FBI). Historically, the data collected has mainly been kept within the halls of the NSA and only offered to other intelligence... Read more...
It was revealed several months ago that the U.S. Marshal Service secretly uses spy planes equipped with devices that mimic cell towers to scan for and harvest cellphone information on a mass scale. Now it's being reported that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) played a key role in helping the Justice Department develop the technology that's capable of scanning data from thousands of cellphones at a time.Let's back up a moment. As originally reported by a number of news outlets, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) was clueless of the spy program that the Department of Justice (DoJ) won't... Read more...
Thanks to the former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, we know that the United States government has in place a sophisticated and all-encompassing spying program, and as time goes on, additional details leak out that underscore how little privacy we truly have. Whether it's intercepting Skype communications or tampering with hard drives, the concept of privacy is fast becoming an illusion. So, would it really be surprising to find out that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has been working for years to exploit Apple's iPhone and iPad devices?It's true, according to The Intercept, which claims... Read more...
An accountability board overseen by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) cleared the spy agency of any wrongdoing after investigating the search of Senate computers that were used to review the agency's alleged use of torture tactics during Bush's presidency period. That might be fine and dandy under different circumstance, but in this case, the review panel looking into the CIA's actions was put together by… the CIA. Conflict of interest, anyone? The board released a 38-page report in which it found that a handful of agency officials made a "mistake" by searching for files used by the Senate... Read more...
Even when the government conducts secret activities, those ventures have to be funded, and a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives last night took a swipe at the NSA’s domestic spying practices by cutting some of its funding. According to Ars Technica, Representatives James Sensenbrenner (R-WI), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), and Thomas Massie (R-KY) authored an amendment to a defense appropriations bill that “none of the funds made available by this Act may be used by an officer or employee of the United States to query a collection of foreign intelligence information acquired under section... Read more...
A new comprehensive writeup at The Intercept claims to reveal additional details of the NSA's plans to infiltrate and conquer the Internet -- as well as its desire to bring virtually all data, everywhere, within its reach. A year ago, this kind of claim would've sounded like hyperbolic conspiracy theory, but no longer. Whether the NSA could ever effectively analyze that information is very much an open question, but the organization has launched a huge number of programs to pursue these ends. Own The Web What The Intercept report details is the NSA's plan for infiltrating target networks, right... Read more...
The CIA is paying AT&T some $10 million a year for access to certain customer call data that includes international-to-international calls as well as some domestic-to-international calls, according to a New York Times report citing information from “government officials”. The CIA’s involvement is part of an overseas counterterrorism effort, and AT&T’s participation is voluntary. The way it works is that the CIA gives AT&T the phone numbers of foreign terrorism suspects, and then AT&T checks the numbers against its vast database (which includes calls handled... Read more...
During a speech to the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington, DC on cybersecurity, former NSA and CIA chief Michael Hayden confessed that if whistleblower Edward Snowden is captured by the US and brought back for trial, cyber-attacks by his defenders can be expected. While I find it hard to agree with most of what Hayden says, it's hard to disagree with the fact that this could happen. Not long after activist Aaron Swartz' death a couple of months ago, Anonymous struck MIT's websites and the US Federal Reserve to help send a message. It seems reasonable to believe, then, that with a mega-case... Read more...
It's beginning to feel like we're unable to go even a single week without learning of a public official caught in an affair, but last week's discovery of the affair of CIA Director David Petraeus came as a shock for a couple of reasons. David wasn't some mere politician, but a decorated war hero who most recently sat at the helm of one of the United States' most important agencies. His decisions made things happen, and with that sort of power comes a lot of risk. It's since been discovered that it was Gmail that managed to expose the affair, proving that when you're an important asset to the government,... Read more...
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