In March, Wikileaks started releasing a series of documents titled “Vault 7”, which consists of thousands of pages of sophisticated hacking tools and techniques used by the CIA to break into computers, smartphones, and even smart televisions with listening capability. It also revealed the CIA’s investigations into hacking software in cars to cause them to crash, in effect committing assassinations that would leave no evidence.
After the Snowden revelations, the U.S. tech industry received a commitment from the Obama administration that the NSA would disclose serious vulnerabilities or “zero days” to U.S. manufacturers such as Apple and Google. These new leaks reveal the intelligence community is still hoarding these vulnerabilities.
Software vulnerabilities make everyone susceptible to attack, cybercrime, identity theft, and privacy violations. By discovering but not revealing vulnerabilities, the CIA left these software backdoors open to foreign hackers and cyber criminals, rather than allowing manufacturers to fix them. “The CIA ensures that it can hack everyone; at the expense of leaving everyone hackable,” points out Wikileaks. The US intelligence community has again misled Congress and the public.
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