WikiLeaks began its new series of leaks on the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and released more than 8,000 documents on Tuesday, as part of â€˜Year Zeroâ€™, the first in a series of leaks the whistleblower organization has dubbed â€˜Vault 7.â€™
Code-named â€œVault 7â€ by WikiLeaks, it is the largest ever publication of confidential documents on the agency. According to reports, a total of 8,761 documents has been published as part of â€˜Year Zeroâ€™.
Here goes the details from the press release by WikiLeaks on Tuesday-
The first full part of the series, â€œYear Zeroâ€, comprises 8,761 documents and files from an isolated, high-security network situated inside the CIAâ€™s Center for Cyber Intelligence in Langley, Virgina. It follows an introductory disclosure last month of CIA targeting French political parties and candidates in the lead up to the 2012 presidential election.
Recently, the CIA lost control of the majority of its hacking arsenal including malware, viruses, trojans, weaponized â€œzero dayâ€ exploits, malware remote control systems and associated documentation. This extraordinary collection, which amounts to more than several hundred million lines of code, gives its possessor the entire hacking capacity of the CIA. The archive appears to have been circulated among former US government hackers and contractors in an unauthorized manner, one of whom has provided WikiLeaks with portions of the archive.
â€œYear Zeroâ€ introduces the scope and direction of the CIAâ€™s global covert hacking program, its malware arsenal and dozens of â€œzero dayâ€ weaponized exploits against a wide range of US and European company products, include Appleâ€™s iPhone, Googleâ€™s Android and Microsoftâ€™s Windows and even Samsung TVs, which are turned into covert microphones.
Since 2001 the CIA has gained political and budgetary preeminence over the US National Security Agency (NSA). The CIA found itself building not just its now infamous drone fleet, but a very different type of covert, globe-spanning force â€” its own substantial fleet of hackers. The agencyâ€™s hacking division freed it from having to disclose its often controversial operations to the NSA (its primary bureaucratic rival) in order to draw on the NSAâ€™s hacking capacities.
By the end of 2016, the CIAâ€™s hacking division, which formally falls under the agencyâ€™s Center for Cyber Intelligence (CCI), had over 5000 registered users and had produced more than a thousand hacking systems, trojans, viruses, and other â€œweaponizedâ€ malware. Such is the scale of the CIAâ€™s undertaking that by 2016, its hackers had utilized more code than that used to run Facebook. The CIA had created, in effect, its â€œown NSAâ€ with even less accountability and without publicly answering the question as to whether such a massive budgetary spend on duplicating the capacities of a rival agency could be justified.
In a statement to WikiLeaks the source details policy questions that they say urgently need to be debated in public, including whether the CIAâ€™s hacking capabilities exceed its mandated powers and the problem of public oversight of the agency. The source wishes to initiate a public debate about the security, creation, use, proliferation and democratic control of cyber weapons.
CIA hacker malware a threat to journalists: infests iPhone, Android bypassing Signal, Confide encryption https://t.co/mHaRNCr3Dfâ€” WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) March 7, 2017