Being aware is the first defense in protecting your sensitive information. Over the past few days, WikiLeaks revealed what they call “Vault 7”, confidential documents exposing the extent of how the CIA hacks into major tech companies using thousands of lines of codes.
The CIA spends large amounts of money in creating their hacking program to carry out what WikiLeaks calls covert operations, without the need to worry about repercussions from the law. With over 1000 weaponized malware programs at their disposal being used against CIA targets overseas and domestically, the organization’s ability to track and spy on suspects, encompass the most modern forms of technology used by citizens.
According to the Vault 7 documents, CIA malware has been used against web servers and major operating systems such as Windows, OSx, and Linux. There is even mention about those attacks against Samsung’s Smart TV years ago. When the TV is turned off, it is in a “Fake-Off” mode where your conversations are secretly recorded which Samsung took a lot of flak for that debacle.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange says he is giving tech companies like Apple, Samsung, Microsoft and Cisco more detailed information on the Central Intelligence Agency’s hacking tools, which as of this writing they have yet to receive. The report also goes on to say, the hacking tools used by the CIA, targets iOS devices and Google’s Android platform, WhatsApp, Signal, Telegram, Wiebo and others by bypassing all security measures to collect audio and video data.
It is almost common knowledge that much of what we do online is not private. We download apps on our mobile devices that require us to accept their terms of service, which often times request access to the phone’s camera, microphone, and location data.
While I don’t have any concrete evidence, one would hardly believe that the CIA is the only organization that has the means and capabilities revealed in the latest leaks. Countries such as Russia, China, Canada and others all have intelligence agencies that monitor wireless communications on their citizens and those abroad.
Companies like Apple and Google frequently update their software to help fight against potential exploits to help keep your information safe. Obviously, the U.S government have methods of overriding secure networks as pointed out by the leaks, and this latest revelation is not a surprise to some of us.
This is more of an embarrassment to the U.S government as it potentially exposes how the CIA gains some of its information, and how its enemies might use that knowledge against them.
Are you at all worried about any of the news about Vault 7 and how the CIA might compromise your privacy?