WikiLeaks Seeks To Assist Apple And Google In Disarming CIA Vault 7 Hacking Tools
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 under wraps so that they do not get into the wrong hands. Smaller exploits could take a few days to patch, while exploits of IoT devices could lead to much lengthier processes.
This past week WikiLeaks uncovered “Vault 7”, a massive information dump of 8,700 classified primarily from the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The information has been mined from government contractors and hackers who have worked to penetrate American intelligence agencies. One of these hackers was the source for Vault 7.
According to WikiLeaks the CIA has “lost control of the majority of its hacking arsenal including malware, viruses, trojans, weaponized zero day exploits, malware remote control systems and associated documentation.” Vault 7 is being released in phases and the first stage, Zero One, “introduces the scope and direction of the CIA's global covert hacking program, its malware arsenal and dozens of ‘zero day’ weaponized exploits against a wide range of U.S. and European company products.”
Why would major tech companies be concerned about Vault 7? Most of the CIA’s hacking tools were developed by the CCI’s Engineering Development Group (EDG) and are able to easily spy on unsuspecting parties. The Mobile Devices Branch (MDB) developed software that can siphon data from Apple devices like iPhones, and there are tools that can bypass the security of Google’s Android operating system. There are even tools targeted at systems running Windows, macOS, Linux, and even Samsung Smart TVs.
Tech companies are far from thrilled with Vault 7. Microsoft and Apple claim that they have patched many of the security breaches. Samsung commented that it is investigating to see whether the Vault 7 Smart TV exploit is true, while Google has declined to comment. The CIA has yet to confirm whether the documents are authentic.