Amid a trove of documents released by WikiLeaks that allegedly contains “the entire hacking capacity of the CIA” is chilling evidence that everyday devices like smart TVs and cell phones have potentially become critical tools in the effort to spy on American citizens.
Documents released in the 8,761 document and file dump dubbed “Vault 7 Part 1” and titled “Year Zero” — were obtained from an “isolated, high-security network” at the CIA’s Center for Cyber Intelligence in Langley, Va., a press release from WikiLeaks said. The trove had been “circulated among former U.S. government hackers and contractors,” one of whom allegedly turned the archive to WikiLeaks.
Among revelations still emerging from the shocking disclosure is an alleged CIA program named “Weeping Angel,” in which Samsung brand “smart” televisions were apparently being used as recording devices. “Weeping Angel places the target TV in a “Fake-Off” mode, so that the owner falsely believes the TV is off when it is on,” WikiLeaks claims. “In ‘Fake-Off’ mode the TV operates as a bug, recording conversations in the room and sending them over the Internet to a covert CIA server.”
Smart TVs aren’t the only commonly used devices that may have a potentially more-sinister purpose. WikiLeaks is suggesting that “Apple’s iPhone, Google’s Android and Microsoft’s Windows” are also being “turned into covert microphones.”
Infected phones, according to the release, “can be instructed to send the CIA the user’s geolocation, audio and text communications as well as covertly activate the phone’s camera and microphone.”
WikiLeaks claims that its information came from a source who wished “to initiate a public debate about the security, creation, use, proliferation and democratic control of cyberweapons.”
“We do not comment on the authenticity or content of purported intelligence documents,” a CIA spokesperson told Fox News.
WikiLeaks, which was founded by Julian Assange in 2006, is an international organization that publishes secret information, news leaks, and classified media from anonymous sources. The Australian-born Assange has been holed up in the Ecuadorean embassy in London for five years, in a bid to avoid what his supporters claim are trumped-up sex assault charges in Sweden.