Anti-secrecy organisation WikiLeaks released thousands of documents on Tuesday which revealed the secret files about CIA hacking tools the government uses to break into users’ computers, mobile phones and smart TVs from companies like Google, Apple, Microsoft and Samsung.
The group said, “This extraordinary collection, which amounts to more than several hundred million lines of code, gives its possessor the entire hacking capacity of the CIA.”
It said the data shows that the CIA is now rivalling the NSA (National Security Agency), the US government’s main electronic spying body.
It released that the CIA and allied intelligence services managed to bypass encryption on popular phone and messaging services like WhatsApp, Telegram, Weibo and Signal.
Documents described the CIA has produced more than 1,000 malware systems; Trojans, viruses and other software that can infiltrate and take control of electronic gadgets.
The documents also described the government’s plan to turn internet-connected televisions into listening posts. One document talked about hacking vehicle systems, indicting the CIA’s interest in hacking modern cars with sophisticated on-board computers.
The documents are dated from 2013 to 2016 and WikiLeaks described them as “the largest ever publication of confidential documents on the agency.”
Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., the chairman of the House intelligence committee said he was very worried about the release and he asked the intelligence community for more information about it.
WikiLeaks stated the documents’ leaks hints that the CIA has not sufficiently controlled its own cyber weapons, potentially allowing them to fall into the hands of other hackers.
After the revelation, neither the CIA nor the White House said the documents were genuine. The government spokesman Jonathan Liu in an email said, “We do not comment on the authenticity or content of purported intelligence documents.” White House spokesman Sean Spicer refused to say anything, saying “That’s something that has not been fully evaluated.”
But the chairman of the House of Representatives’ Intelligence Committee said this revelation appeared to be very serious.
After the release, the internet-connected televisions have been a focus for hackers and cybersecurity experts. Many of them analyse the set’s ability to record and transmit conversations as a potentially dangerous vulnerability.
Despite several criticisms, the WikiLeaks has again proved it is always ready to publish secret material on the United States. Last year, it has been largely criticised for leaking secret material that spoiled Hillary Clinton’s presidential election.