WiliLeaks just opened “Vault 7”, which contains around 8,761 documents they say uncover the “entire hacking capacity of the CIA.” Pretty insane.
WikiLeaks founder and editor-in-chief Julian Assange calls it the most comprehensive release of US spying files ever made public, larger even than the Snowden files. He says that the leak ensures that the CIA has “lost control of its arsenal”.
Whether all of that is true, the techniques and access that the CIA has been using, according to Vault 7, allows the CIA to even access personal gadgets by grabbing your fingerprint from an iPhone. Yeah, your paranoid uncle’s FB memes about the fingerprint technology might actually be true.
People are still digging into the documents, but so far it seems the CIA can do everything from remotely shut down cars to make it look like their attacks came from somewhere else in order to cover themselves up. They can even hijack a TV.
The documents released today are just the first part of a series, and are called “Year Zero.” The release includes descriptions of hundreds of millions of lines of software code and exploits that allow access to the Apple iPhone, Google Android, Microsoft Windows and Samsung TVs, just to name a few, essentially turning the devices into “covert microphones” and cameras.
WikiLeaks says the documents come from an “isolated, high-security network situation" inside the CIA’s Center for Cyber Intelligence in Langley, Virginia.
Assange stated on the site that “There is an extreme proliferation risk in the development of cyber ‘weapons’. Comparisons can be drawn between the uncontrolled proliferation of such 'weapons’, which results from the inability to contain them combined with their high market value, and the global arms trade. But the significance of "Year Zero” goes well beyond the choice between cyberwar and cyberpeace. The disclosure is also exceptional from a political, legal and forensic perspective.”
As for what you can do, apparently not much other than just get your butt off the internet. And your phone. And your TV. And your car.