The trove of documents — code-named “Vault 7″ by WikiLeaks — purports to shed light on the CIA’s large army of hackers and their cyberweapons, including actual software code used to surreptitiously eavesdrop on targets.
WikiLeaks, which claims the data dump is bigger than the cache of secrets revealed by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, said cyberspooks at Langley have been using all the dark arts of hacking to crack into U.S. and European products, such as Apple’s iPhone, Google’s Android, and Microsoft programs. The website says the CIA hackers ran more lines of code than Facebook.
Even Samsung smart TVs have been turned into covert microphones — which, as WikiLeaks points out, is about as close as you get to the dystopia George Orwell created in “1984.”
As if that’s not bad enough, WikiLeaks said that for the past few years, the CIA has been looking into ways to hack your car:
This will not be good for the many drivers who are already freaked out that the federal government and insurance companies might be spying on them through the “black boxes” that — like their counterparts on aircraft — record information about their vehicles.
Those fears go back at least as far as 2004, when the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration proposed rules about the kinds of information those onboard computers should collect and how the data could be used. And that seems forever ago compared with the way that computers have become integrated into our vehicles.
The documents released Tuesday by WikiLeaks are said to have been circulated among government contractors and hackers who used to work for the government in an “unauthorized manner.” The Washington Post’s national security team said it couldn’t be determined whether the documents are authentic yet, while the New York Times is saying it appears “likely at first review” that they are.
If true, the WikiLeaks disclosure could mean that moles — not ducks or geckos — might be infiltrating people’s rides. So prepare to hear from conspiracy buffs about infamous car crashes — or even ordinary ones — that were secretly engineered from CIA headquarters. Despite the tinfoil hats, they might be on to something.