Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Did the NSA Clown and Depants the CIA?

libertyblitzkrieg |  By now, most of you have heard about the largest ever release of confidential CIA documents published by Wikileaks, known as Vault7. Many of you have also read various summaries of what was released, but reading the take of others is not the same as analyzing it yourself. As such, I strongly suggest you check out the original Wikileaks summary. It’s mostly written for the layperson without much technical expertise (like myself), and I think you’ll get a lot out of it.
In this post, I’m going to republish the entire press release, as well as provide key excerpts from the larger summary along with some personal observations. Let’s get started…
From Wikileaks:
Press Release
Today, Tuesday 7 March 2017, WikiLeaks begins its new series of leaks on the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. Code-named “Vault 7” by WikiLeaks, it is the largest ever publication of confidential documents on the agency.
The first full part of the series, “Year Zero”, comprises 8,761 documents and files from an isolated, high-security network situated inside the CIA’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 “zero day” 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 U.S. government hackers and contractors in an unauthorized manner, one of whom has provided WikiLeaks with portions of the archive.
Lovely. Just lovely.
“Year Zero” introduces the scope and direction of the CIA’s global covert hacking program, its malware arsenal and dozens of “zero day” weaponized exploits against a wide range of U.S. and European company products, include Apple’s iPhone, Google’s Android and Microsoft’s Windows and even Samsung TVs, which are turned into covert microphones.
Since 2001 the CIA has gained political and budgetary preeminence over the U.S. 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 — its own substantial fleet of hackers. The agency’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 NSA’s hacking capacities.
This leak might very well be from a competing government agency concerned about the unaccountable power and sloppiness of the CIA, or it could simply be a turf war.