March 7th 2017
By Mike Flaminio
WikiLeaks says the archive appears to have been circulated among former government hackers and contractors, one of whom provided WikiLeaks with portions of it. The website says the CIA hacking division involved "more than 5,000 registered users and had produced more than a thousand hacking systems, trojans, viruses, and other 'weaponized' malware."
"Such is the scale of the CIA's undertaking that by 2016, its hackers had utilized more code than that used to run Facebook," WikiLeaks claims. "The CIA had created, in effect, its 'own NSA' with even less accountability and without publicly answering the question as to whether such a massive budgetary spend on duplicating the capacities of a rival agency could be justified."
Reportedly there are tools for hacking iPhones, Android, and Microsoft smartphones, in addition to Samsung smart TVs. The TV hacks claim to turn the TV into a dummy off mode that appears to be in stand-by, but is actually on and relaying sounds from the room to remote servers.
There are still unresolved issues of forcing technology companies to install backdoors in products for government access. If true, this situation is another example of how government access to private information goes sideways.
A silver lining is, again if this is true, now that companies are aware of these unreported vulnerabilities, a lot of them should get patched in the near future.