WikiLeaks on Tuesday published thousands of documents purportedly taken from the Central Intelligence Agency’s Center for Cyber Intelligence, a dramatic release that appears to expose intimate details of America’s cyberespionage toolkit.
It was not immediately clear how WikiLeaks obtained the information, which included more than 8,700 documents and files. The CIA tools, if authentic, could undermine the confidence that consumers have in the safety and security of their computers, mobile devices and even smart TVs.
WikiLeaks said the material came from “an isolated, high-security network situated inside the CIA’s Center for Cyber Intelligence in Langley, Virginia.” It didn’t say how the files were removed, such as possibly by a rogue employee, by hacking a federal contractor working for the CIA or breaking into a staging server where such hacking tools might be temporarily stored.
The more than 8,000 documents cover a host of technical topics, including what appears to be a discussion about how to compromise smart televisions and turn them into improvised surveillance devices. WikiLeaks said the data also include details on the agency’s efforts to subvert American software products and smartphones, including Apple’s iPhone, Google’s Android and Microsoft Windows.
The information dump could not immediately be authenticated by The Associated Press, and the CIA declined comment, but WikiLeaks has a long track record of releasing top secret government documents. Experts who’ve started to sift through the material said that it appeared legitimate and that the release was almost certain to shake the CIA.
Jonathan Liu, a spokesman for the CIA, said: “We do not comment on the authenticity or content of purported intelligence documents.”
WikiLeaks said 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.”
If the authenticity of the documents is officially confirmed, it…