WikiLeaks shocked the nation once again this past Tuesday by releasing thousands of documents to the American public, describing ‘secret’ operations performed by the CIA that are used to hack into computers, mobile devices, and much more. This latest reveal, dubbed ‘Vault 7’, comes at a crucial time in history when the U.S. government has already been heavily scrutinized for their past surveillance methods. We’re taking a look at the top 5 most shocking revelations that have emerged since WikiLeak’s latest document dump.
1. Consumer Devices Are Compromised
One of the most terrifying secrets coming to light is the revelation that consumer products are at risk of being compromised by the CIA. WikiLeaks has revealed that personal devices such as the Samsung Smart TV are at risk of cyber attacks. It has been said via the WikiLeaks documents that the CIA uses these devices to “listen in on conversations even when the device is off”. Other companies such as Google, Apple and Microsoft have also dragged into the mix, and have been forced to issue statements to respond to the breaking news. Samsung issued the following statement, “protecting consumers’ privacy and the security of our devices is a top priority at Samsung”. Only time will tell how these massive technology companies decide to further react to the latest WikiLeak’s report.
2. The CIA May Be Exploiting Internet Flaws
The term ‘zero days‘ is used to describe coding flaws in software products, such as Microsoft Windows, that enables the CIA or a different hacking entity to access a computer and any business or network that is connected to it. The cyber-capabilities of the CIA may be more advanced than previously thought, with the leak suggesting that the U.S. government controls several ‘zero day’ exploits. With the CIA in control of multiple vulnerabilities, it is justified for the public to be worried about how this information is being used. Because of this, fuel has been added to the debate on whether or not it is the government’s responsibility to disclose these vulnerabilities to citizens.
Apple is reported to have already patched many of these exploits that were detailed in the report. Speaking to the Washington Post, they stated “While our initial analysis indicates that many of the issues leaked today were already patched in the latest iOS, we will continue work to rapidly address any identified vulnerabilities”.
3. Cyber Attacks Were Conducted In Two Main Locations
The latest round of revelations from WikiLeaks is asserting that cyber attacks were conducted primarily from two main locations; Germany and Virginia. The CIA has its headquarters in Langley, Virginia, while also maintaining a consulate in Frankfurt, Germany. Germany is already responding to these allegations by launching an examination into the WikiLeak’s report as part of their standard procedure. They also made it clear that legal action might be taken, “if it turns out there is an initial suspicion of a concrete crime committed by a specific person then a preliminary investigation may be opened.”
4. Certain Secrets Are Being Withheld by WikiLeaks
It has been stated that WikiLeaks is withholding certain pieces of information from the public. For example, WikiLeaks has asserted that they are withholding details of thousands of “CIA targets and attack machines” throughout the globe. This goes to show that while WikiLeaks is known for spreading sensitive information to the public, they act in a seemingly calculated manner when it comes to what specific information they are willing to share.
5. Experts Are Saying These Latest Leaks Are Legitimate
Experts worked fast to weigh in on the unfolding WikiLeaks controversy, with many adding their two cents into the mix and stating that they find these classified documents to be legitimate. One interesting person who has entered the conversation is former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who is well known for his own data leaking controversy. Snowden stated on Twitter, “Still working through the publication, but what @Wikileaks has here is genuinely a big deal. Looks authentic”.
WikiLeaks has stated that they wish for this latest reveal to help spur important conversations and meaningful public debate regarding the state of security in our nation, and the imminent threat of cyber weapons. At Golden Frog, we believe in the importance and power of Internet privacy, and work tirelessly to provide the public with leading Internet privacy tools to keep people safe and secure online.
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