The CIA hadn’t yet confirmed or denied the information at the time of publication, but WikiLeaks does have a long track record of releasing top-secret government documents.
The Weeping Angel attack attempts to place the target TV in a “fake-off” mode to trick the owner into believing the devices is off when it is on.
According to The Washington Post, the latest revelations about USA government’s powerful hacking tools suggest that a variety of everyday devices can be turned to spy on their owners.
According to reports, the Part 1 was obtained recently and covers through 2016.
WikiLeaks says the 8,761 documents and files were ripped off “from an isolated, high-security network situated inside the CIA’s Center for Cyber Intelligence” in Virginia.
If the documents are authentic they could undermine confidence that consumers have in the security of their computers, mobile devices and smart TVs.
Most of the CIA’s programs exploited “zero day” vulnerabilities, or undisclosed weaknesses in software that can used by hackers to affect or gain access to data or programs.
Weeping Angel, as described in the released documents, is an exploit that targets Samsung smart TVs by placing the internet connected appliance in a “Fake-Off” mode that makes the television appear to be turned off while it covertly sends audio recordings from the room to the Central Intelligence Agency. While exploits across a range of devices and the ability to turn on cameras and microphones is a touch chilling, they’re nothing new, and anyone with real concerns should already be going about their business with those possibilities in mind.
The organisation has, according to the trove, poured huge amounts of money into hacking systems, trojans, viruses, and other forms of malware.
U.S. intelligence agencies have said Wikileaks had ties to Russia’s security services. As a general user, there is not much to worry about being targetted.
If you’re concerned about the security of your device, it’s always a good idea to keep your software up-to-date.
WikiLeaks said the documents show the CIA’s hackers have developed malware to be able to hack into nearly any device people use and can remotely control iPhones, iPads, Android devices, taking video from their cameras and listening with their microphones.
The last time something similar happened was when NSA contractor Edward Snowden had revealed that the agency was secretly collecting call metadata from U.S. citizens.
It is worth noting that some of the security flaws and bugs exploited by the agencies for surveillance purposes are already well-known and have been patched, however, it does appear that some of the exploits may have been a surprise to tech firms.