In another embarrassing expose of the United States government, Julian Assange on Tuesday released what he claims to be the entire hacking capacity of the Central Intelligence Agency.
Released through his anti-secrecy website, Wikileaks, Assange dropped an 8,000-plus page disclosure that he described as “the largest ever publication of confidential documents on the agency.”
“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,” Wikileaks stated on its website. “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.”
According to Assange, the 8,761 documents and files, released as “Vault 7 Part 1” and titled “Year Zero”, were obtained from an “isolated, high-security network” at the CIA’s Center for Cyber Intelligence in Langley, Va. The facility reportedly employs more than 5,000 people but it was not revealed which of those employees tipped off Assange.
Per a statement on the Wikileaks website, the argosy of documents had been “circulated among former U.S. government hackers and contractors,” one of whom “recently” made the archive available to Assange.
The wealth of documents allegedly includes information on CIA-developed malware with names such as “Assassin” and “Medusa”, that were specifically developed to target iPhones, Android phones, Microsoft, Mac and Linux operating systems and smart TVs. According to the leaked documents, an entire unit in the CIA has been assigned the duty of inventing programs that have the ability to hack Apple products.
In it’s statement, Wikileaks hinted that some of the technologies may play a role in high tech assassinations of political foes.
“It would permit the CIA to engage in nearly undetectable assassinations,” the release stated.
Former NSA whistle blower, Edward Snowden, tweeted Tuesday afternoon about the WikiLeaks release.
“Still working through the publication, but what @Wikileaks has here is genuinely a big deal. Looks authentic,” wrote Snowden, who remains in Russia under political asylum as he seeks to avoid criminal prosecution in the U.S.
In response to a request for statement, a spokesperson for the CIA said, “The Central Intelligence Agency does not comment on the authenticity or content of purported intelligence documents. There will be no further statement at this time.”