Paris: WikiLeaks on Tuesday published thousands of purported CIA documents that claim to show intimate details of the agency’s cyberespionage effort, including bypassing encryption on popular phone and messaging services such as Signal, WhatsApp and Telegram. According to the statement from WikiLeaks, government hackers can penetrate Android phones and collect “audio and message traffic before encryption is applied.”.
The dump could not immediately be authenticated and the CIA declined to comment, but WikiLeaks has a long track record of releasing top secret government documents.
Experts who’ve started to sift through the material said it appeared legitimate and that the release was almost certain to shake the CIA.
“There’s no question that there’s a fire drill going on right now,” said Jake Williams, a security expert with Augusta, Georgia-based Rendition Infosec. “It wouldn’t surprise me that there are people changing careers and ending careers as we speak.”
If it did prove legitimate, the dump would represent yet another catastrophic breach for the US intelligence community at the hands of WikiLeaks and its allies, which have repeatedly humbled Washington with the mass release of classified material, including hundreds of thousands of documents from the State Department and the Pentagon.
WikiLeaks, which had been dropping cryptic hints about the release for a month, said in a lengthy statement that the CIA had “recently” lost control of a massive arsenal of CIA hacking tools as well as associated documentation.
The source of the documents was not named. WikiLeaks said the documents, which it called Vault 7, had been “circulated among former U.S. government hackers and contractors in an unauthorized manner, one of whom has provided WikiLeaks with portions of the archive.” The documents, from the CIA’s Center for Cyber Intelligence, are dated from 2013 to 2016, and WikiLeaks described them as “the largest ever publication of confidential documents on the agency.”...