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US secret service is busted by Wikileaks again.
Economy, Sci & Tech

Wikileaks Busts US Spy Agency for Massive Global Hacking

Past cyber attacks on scores of organizations around the world were conducted with top-secret hacking tools that were exposed recently by the web publisher Wikileaks, the security researcher Symantec Corp said on Monday.

That means the attacks were likely conducted by the US Central Intelligence Agency. The files posted by WikiLeaks appear to show internal CIA discussions of various tools for hacking into phones, computers and other electronic gear, along with programming code for some of them, and multiple people familiar with the matter have said that the documents came from the CIA or its contractors, Reuters reports.

Symantec said it had connected at least 40 attacks in 16 countries to the tools obtained by WikiLeaks, though it followed company policy by not formally blaming the CIA.

The CIA has not confirmed the Wikileaks documents are genuine.

The CIA tools described by Wikileaks do not involve mass surveillance, and all of the targets were government entities or had legitimate national security value for other reasons, Symantec researcher Eric Chien said ahead of Monday’s publication.

In part because some of the targets are US allies in Europe, “there are organizations in there that people would be surprised were targets,” Chien said.

Symantec said sectors targeted by operations employing the tools included financial, telecommunications, energy, aerospace, information technology, education, and natural resources.

Besides Europe, countries were hit in the Middle East, Asia, and Africa. One computer was infected in the United States in what was likely an accident - the infection was removed within hours. All the programs were used to open back doors, collect and remove copies of files, rather than to destroy anything.

The eavesdropping tools were created at least as far back as 2011 and possibly as long ago as 2007, Chien said. He said the WikiLeaks documents are so complete that they likely encompass the CIA’s entire hacking toolkit, including many taking advantage of previously unknown flaws.

It could lead to awkward conversations, however, as more allies realize the Americans were spying and confront them.

 

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