Cyber security by Sgt Ross Tilly (Crown Copyright)

#Vault7: #CIA #Cyber Warfare Revelations

On 7 March 2017, WikiLeaks began releasing a series of files collectively named Vault 7, purporting to detail the spying and espionage activities of the CIA. Dating from 2013 – 2016, the files are said to document the CIA’s electronic surveillance and cyber warfare programme.

Center for Cyber Intelligence

The first batch containing 7,818 web pages and 943 attachments said to be from the Center for Cyber Intelligence was leaked anonymously and there has been widespread debate about the authenticity of the files – and even the authenticity of WikiLeaks itself.

Key Vault 7 Revelations

  • The CIA ‘stockpiled’ software security vulnerabilities for later use.
  • The CIA used malware to compromise Apple iOS and Google Android smartphones.
  • The CIA researched ways to control vehicle computer systems.
  • The CIA discovered a means of turning Samsung Smart TVs into covert surveillance devices, code-named ‘Weeping Angel’.
  • The CIA could gain access to Windows operating systems.
  • That the US Consulate General in Frankfurt, Germany, was a covert base for US government cyber warfare, involving the CIA, NSA, Department of Homeland Security, military intelligence and other secret service operatives.

Conspiracy Theories

The hashtag #Vault7 was trending on Twitter with over 180,000 tweets on 7 March until suddenly disappearing. Many users concluded that Twitter had deliberately censored #Vault7. Apparent censorship both on Twitter and news media in the US, led many to believe that Vault 7 was authentic and earlier allegations over Russian hacking of the US elections were recast as CIA ops.

“Let’s Take A Poll” asked:

“Do you think Obama used the and other intelligence agencies as tools to attack political opponents?” Of the 954 people who had responded at the time this poll was accessed, 88% said “Hell, Yes!”

The CIA has refused to comment on Vault 7.

Sources: Cody Derespina, “WikiLeaks releases ‘entire hacking capacity of the CIA'”, Fox News, 7 March 2017. Scott Shane, Mark Mazzetti and Matthew Rosenberg, “WikiLeaks Releases Trove of Alleged C.I.A. Hacking Documents”, The New York Times, 7 March 2017.

Photo: Cyber security by Sgt Ross Tilly.

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