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Outside Contractors For CIA Reportedly Eyed In WikiLeaks Dump Probe
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Old 03-08-2017
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Default Outside Contractors For CIA Reportedly Eyed In WikiLeaks Dump Probe






WikiLeaks CIA Files:

Are They Real And Are They A Risk?



This Feb. 19, 2014, file photo, shows WhatsApp and Facebook app icons on a smartphone in New York.
(AP Photo/Patrick Sison, File)


By STEPHEN BRAUN - Mar. 8, 2017 7:05 AM EST

WASHINGTON — WikiLeaks has published thousands of documents that the anti-secrecy organization said were classified files revealing scores of secrets about CIA hacking tools used to break into targeted computers, cellphones and even smart TVs.

The CIA and the Trump administration declined to comment on the authenticity of the files Tuesday, but prior WikiLeaks releases divulged government secrets maintained by the State Department, Pentagon and other agencies that have since been acknowledged as genuine. In another nod to their authenticity, the chairman of the House intelligence committee, Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., said he was very concerned about the release and has sought more information about it.

The hacking tools appeared to exploit vulnerabilities in popular operating systems for desktop and laptop computers developed by Microsoft. They also targeted devices that included Apple's iPhones and iPads, Google's Android cellphones, Cisco routers and Samsung Smart TVs.

Some of the technology firms said they were evaluating the newly released documents.

Some questions and answers about the latest WikiLeaks dump and its fallout:

WHERE DO THESE DOCUMENTS COME FROM?

WikiLeaks said the material came from "an isolated, high-security network" inside the CIA's Center for Cyber Intelligence, the spy agency's internal arm that conducts cyber offense and defense. It said the documents were "circulated among former U.S. government hackers and contractors in an unauthorized manner, one of whom has provided WikiLeaks with portions of the archive." It did not make it clear who was behind the leak, leaving several possibilities: espionage, a rogue employee, a theft involving a federal contractor or a break-in of a staging server where such information may have been temporarily stored.

HOW MANY FILES WERE LEAKED? WHAT PERIOD DO THEY COVER?

WikiLeaks said 7,818 web pages and 943 attachments were published, but were just the first part of more material to come. WikiLeaks said it has an entire archive of data consisting of several million lines of computer code. The documents appear to date between 2013 and 2016. WikiLeaks described them as "the largest-ever publication of confidential documents on the agency."

ARE THESE LEGITIMATE CIA DOCUMENTS?

A spokesman for the CIA said the agency would not comment "on the authenticity or content of purported intelligence documents." Trump administration spokesman Sean Spicer declined comment as well. But WikiLeaks has a long track record of assembling and releasing secret files from the U.S. and other governments. Security experts who reviewed the material said the documents appeared to be authentic. Jake Williams, a security expert with Georgia-based Rendition Infosec, who has dealt previously with government hackers, said that frequent references in the files to operation security gave them the stamp of legitimacy. "It rings true to me," Williams said.

WHAT DO THESE DOCUMENTS CONTAIN?

The files describe CIA plans and descriptions of malware and other tools that could be used to hack into some of the world's most popular technology platforms. The documents showed that the developers aimed to be able to inject these tools into targeted computers without the owners' awareness.

The files do not describe who the prospective targets might be, but the documents show broad exchanges of tools and information between the CIA and National Security Agency and other federal intelligence agencies, as well as intelligence services of close allies Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

The purported CIA documents range from complicated computer coding to organizational plans to sarcastic comments about the tools' effectiveness. Some of the tools were named after alcohol references, including Bartender, Wild Turkey and Margarita. Others referenced recent popular movies, including "Fight Club" and "Talladega Nights." One hacking tool, code-named "RickyBobby," after the character who is a race car driver in "Talladega Nights," was purportedly used to upload and download information "without detection as malicious software."

The documents also include discussions about compromising some internet-connected televisions to turn them into listening posts. One document discusses hacking vehicle systems, appearing to indicate the CIA's interest in hacking recent-model cars with sophisticated on-board computer systems.

HOW ARE TECHNOLOGY FIRMS RESPONDING TO THESE REVELATIONS?

Microsoft said it was looking into the reports that its operating systems were potentially vulnerable to many of the malware and other hacking tools described in the purported CIA documents. The maker of the secure messaging app Signal said the purported tools described in the leaked documents appeared to affect users' actual phones, but not its software designs or encryption protocols. The manufacturer of the popular Telegram mobile messaging app said in a statement that manufacturers of cellphones and their operating systems, including Apple, Google and Samsung, were responsible for improving the security of their devices. It said the effort will require "many hours of work and many security updates" and assured its customers that "If the CIA is not on your back, you shouldn't start worrying yet."

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Old 03-09-2017
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Default






Outside Contractors For CIA Reportedly Eyed
In WikiLeaks Dump Probe





Published March 09, 2017 FoxNews.com

Investigators working to find the source of this week's Wikileaks dump are likely set to focus on outside contractors for the CIA, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

A disaffected insider-- not a foreign government—is believed to be behind the leak of thousands of documents on the CIA’s cyberspying capabilities, investigators told The New York Times.

The FBI is hunting to find the responsible party for the leak and is set to interview possibly more than a thousand people who may have had access to the leaked information, the paper reported. The scope of the investigation will even reach contractors outside the CIA, The Times report said.

KUCINICH: NEW WIKILEAKS REVEAL PROOF WE ARE SLIDING DOWN THE SLIPPERY SLOPE TOWARD TOTALITARIANISM

Documents released Tuesday by WikiLeaks allege a CIA surveillance program that targets everyday gadgets ranging from smart TVs to smartphones to cars.

Such snooping, WikiLeaks said, could turn some of these devices into recorders of everyday conversations — and could also circumvent data-scrambling encryption on communications apps such as Facebook's WhatsApp.

It is reportedly not clear that the CIA ever used the tools to conduct espionage. A CIA spokeswoman said the agency is prohibited from conducting electronic surveillance on U.S. citizens at home and the “CIA does not do so.”

WikiLeaks is, for now, withholding details on the specific hacks used "until a consensus emerges" on the nature of the CIA's program and how the methods should be "analyzed, disarmed and published."

But WikiLeaks — a nonprofit that routinely publishes confidential documents, frequently from government sources — claims that the data and documents it obtained reveal a broad program to bypass security measures on everyday products.

If true, the disclosure could spark new privacy tensions between the government and the technology industry. Relations have been fraught since 2013, when former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden disclosed secret NSA surveillance of phone and digital communications.


The CIA did not confirm the authenticity of the documents, but a spokesman for the agency said the release “equip our adversaries with tools and information to do us harm.”

A person familiar with the matter told The Journal that more than a dozen companies work at the CIA in formulating and testing these hacking tools. Most of the work is done in a factory in Dulles, Va., not Langley.

“This is the kind of disclosure that undermines our country, our security, and our well being,” Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary said.

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