|Wednesday, 8 March, 2017|
CIA "biggest break on global growth"
WikiLeaks has revealed that American "intelligence" services have been hacking into Apple's iPhone, Google's Android, Microsoft's Windows and Samsung's smart TV. The TVs are put into a fake off position so that recordings from the TV's mic can be obtained via the internet connection, a system so chillingly close to George Orwell's '1984' mass surveillance system, that it can only have been developed in Britain (and indeed the documents show that MI5/BTSS was behind the hack known in the trade as Weeping Angel.)
"By the end of 2016, the CIA's hacking division, which formally falls under the agency's Center for Cyber Intelligence (CCI), had over 5,000 registered users and had produced more than a thousand hacking systems, trojans, viruses, and other "weaponized" malware," says WikiLeaks (https://wikileaks.org/ciav7p1/). "Such is the scale of the CIA's undertaking that by 2016, its hackers had utilized more code than that used to run Facebook. "
In February 2016 the FBI went to the United States District Court for the Central District of California demanding Apple create software that would enable the FBI to unlock an iPhone 5C it recovered from a terrorist involved in a December 2015 attack in San Bernardino, California, that killed 14 people and injured 22.
Apple resisted this court action but if the documents, which date from 2013 to 2016, are correct, the whole court battle looks like a PR stunt designed to convince the public that Apple phones are unhackable rather than actually defeat government attempts to force Apple to open up its software to surveillance. Will the American court system like being treated in this way?
The WikiLeaks document cache says WhatsApp and other app encryption can be side stepped by hacking into the devices "that they run on and collecting audio and message traffic before encryption is applied". Rather terrifyingly, the documents also suggest that vehicle control systems can be hacked into so that the self driving cars can be used to create mayhem. If that doesn't put back the development of robot vehicles by ten years, nothing will.
The CIA may now constitute the world's biggest break on global growth. By exploiting software vulnerabilities it makes commercial use of software difficult if not impossible. Who would trust a bank that could lose all its money in a hack, a tv that might record conversations that could lead to blackmail, or a self driving car that might suddenly turn into a leathal weapon? "Serious vulnerabilities not disclosed to the manufacturers places huge swathes of the population and critical infrastructure at risk to foreign intelligence or cyber criminals who independently discover or hear rumors of the vulnerability," says WikiLeaks (https://wikileaks.org/ciav7p1/). "If the CIA can discover such vulnerabilities so can others.The U.S. government's commitment to the Vulnerabilities Equities Process came after significant lobbying by US technology companies, who risk losing their share of the global market over real and perceived hidden vulnerabilities. The government stated that it would disclose all pervasive vulnerabilities discovered after 2010 on an ongoing basis."
Clearly this is not happening.
|Posted by Jonathan Brind.|
|Wednesday, 8 March, 2017|