The hacker unit of the CIA's Center for Cyber Intelligence consists of five thousand crypto bayonets. It’s almost two regiments of the regular army of the United States. The NSA
hackers uncovered by Edward Snowden
shocked the world, standing against the CIA
hackers with their capabilities now look like carpenters against woodworkers. The CIA developed the world's largest arsenal of malware Trojans and viruses that attacked most of the systems used by journalists, officials, politicians, heads of the corporations, and ordinary people, but failed to ensure the proper security of this arsenal, allowed its leakage and, apparently, concealed this fact. So far, the WikiLeaks
portal has posted 8761 files from the received collection of various tools and tricks that are part of the arsenal of computer trespassers at the service of the US government.
According to the volume of published materials, this is only the first part of the archive. It was called "Vault No. 7, Year Zero”, and it already surpasses everything that Snowden has published during three years of exposures. The US government gives the CIA billions of dollars each year, and part of what it should do is spying not on the people of America, but on everyone else. With a global scope and under the hood of the CIA there is potentially any phone owner who knows how to go online. The service of the American cyber reconnaissance is organized in a military way. Each department has a task assigned especially for it.
The Department of Engineering Development develops, runs and services Trojans and malware, this is how high technology specialists call malicious programs. Finding picklocks, through which hackers from the CIA remotely get into smartphones, is assigned to the Department of Mobile Devices. This is how they look for so-called zero-day vulnerabilities in the devices, which even the manufacturer isn’t aware of. Only for those that work on Android, the CIA agents have cooked up 24 programs, allowing to access text messages, geolocation data, a microphone or an earpiece without the owner's knowledge. Specialists from the same unit learned to get into popular instant messengers, such as WhatsApp, Signal, Telegram and Viber, even before the program encrypts the message sent through it.
Attacks on web servers are handled by the Department of Network Devices. The work of the Department of Automated Integration is concentrated on operating systems, such as Windows, Linux and MacOS. If necessary, using a DVD-ROM drive through the Nero program, they implant a virus, such as the so-called Hummer Drill. On a signal from Langley, it gets the information from the hard drive even when the device is off. If required, it can infect the USB-drive, turning it into a hotbed of viruses. It is impossible to withstand such an impact. These documents — I was able to go through a lot of them — they are clearly for specialists, and they are related to the tools of the CIA hacking, which are used to break into conventional devices that we use daily.
As it becomes clear from this part of the WikiLeaks documents, the CIA combat programmers adopted other people's experience. The arsenal was readily stolen from foreign hackers. They borrowed a variety of components, such as systems that steal passwords, modules for capturing images and sound from web cameras, programs to destroy information on disks, or those that allow you to bypass anti-viruses. Who knows, maybe the experience of these young people was also useful. In any case, like Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek, their unnamed counterparts in Langley were surely engaged in programs for remote interception of car control. Hold on, hold on tight. This is how the hacker intervention into the car's brain going down a highway looks. First, music in the cabin of the unfortunate driver of a white Jeep Cherokee runs out of control. It’s so loud that he can’t turn it off. Calm down! Then the crazy wipers make it impossible to see the road. A bump is on the way. The collision is a matter of seconds. I can’t see anything because of this --- washer liquid.
In fact, it’s an almost perfect murder scenario, which should look like an accident on the road. And it’s in vain that the CIA gets so surprised in response to the WikiLeaks publication. As we said earlier, Julian Assange is not exactly a bulwark of truth and honesty. Despite the efforts of Assange and his associates, the CIA continues to actively collect intelligence abroad to protect America from terrorists. That is, it’s guaranteed that the headquarters of the department will not assume responsibility for commercial damage for companies the reputation of which as reliable the CIA deliberately undermined. Losses of the manufacturers of vulnerable equipment, as already calculated, could amount billions of dollars.
Therefore, specialists of Apple
are so quick to report the elimination of all loopholes. But the Silicon Valley engineers are far away from completely getting rid of electronic parasites. They are simply under-informed, as Julian Assange says. WikiLeaks has much more information about what happens to the program on cyber weapons. We decided to work with manufacturers and give them exclusive access to additional technical details that we have so that they can develop the necessary measures. For sure, Samsung will be interested. Smart TVs of this Korean manufacturer have long turned into ears and eyes of the American hackers. I can be with a laptop in a Parisian cafe and, even without the right of access, get into your TV and watch you through the camera. It would seem easy to just put a tape on the camera, as advised by Snowden. But unlike the NSA, the CIA's arsenal has a novelty called "Weeping Angel". This spy program hits dead on target.
The Korean manufactures' TV's turned out to be too smart for their own good. Models of Smart TV line are able to recognize speech commands. For example, Netflix
. The CIA specialists’ achievement is that, even without being on, the device leaves the microphone on. It secretly records conversations of those who are nearby, and the received files are automatically sent over the Internet to secret servers of Langley. That is, while you're not watching the TV, it listens in on you. Colleagues from British intelligence MI5 helped Americans to learn to crack smart TVs from Korea. And in this sense, the leakage of WikiLeaks is also a joint failure. Immediately after it was published, the British channels were visited by those who hack not TVs, but brains. It is very possible that Russia is connected to this. It's possible that the threat was coming directly from Russia, but there is no direct confirmation.
Professor from the green continent performed in the style of that same CIA hackers, who turn out to be armed with a special program called Umbrage, that is, "Shadow". Collecting data on cyberattacks around the world, it enables Internet spies from the US to copy the handwriting of any group of hackers. Invaluable when carrying out operations under a foreign flag. And why not under a Russian one? This is a consideration of an authoritative journalist Robert Parry in his article on the Consortiumnews website, who became world famous due to the investigation of the Iran-Contra affair.
WikiLeaks information on documents revealing the cyber espionage capabilities of the CIA confirms that much more skepticism should be applied to the claims of the US intelligence community that Russia hacked last year's US presidential elections. It turns out that the CIA stores a library of foreign malicious programs that can be used to blame another intelligence service for hacking. The first one to claim that the hackers were Russian was the private company Crowd Strike, which Democrats hired to investigate attacks on their servers. They pointed to Cyrillic coding and change comments in the editing of documents, such as "Felix Edmundovich", as traces.
The American press did not just swallow the bait, it's still chewing on it. This story was skillfully fabricated. I think the media in this country should think twice before accusing Russia of everything, except, perhaps, global warming. Meanwhile, the CIA is looking for a mole. There, they know for sure that a person from the outside can’t get into the internal networks of the center of cyber intelligence of the US.
In addition, according to WikiLeaks, the secret archive is not secret at all among the insiders. Description of the tricks and tools of the American government hackers was actively passed around among the specialists, that is, the computers of current and former employees. This is the fault of the conflict between fathers and sons, according to the complains of the former head of the intelligence service Michael Hayden. The CIA agents, he says, are not the same. In order to do this kind of stuff, we are forced to recruit people of a certain age. I'm not going to judge them at all, but the millennial generation, those born at the end of the 20th century, has a completely different understanding of the words "loyalty", "secrecy" and "transparency", unlike what we, people of my generation, think.
However, the jealousy for young specialists coming from those stuck somewhere in the middle of the Cold War, is their own business. The question of morality and the very notion of "total surveillance" do lie in different dimensions. But the fact that the leak of the CIA archive, in the words of Julian Assange, is "a historical act of incompetence" is obvious. It’s not enough to create an arsenal or learn how to use it. Even a cyber weapon left unattended by its owner will, sooner or later, spring to action.