On 26-Mar-2017 In News
Julian Assange's organization WikiLeaks has revealed a new set of documents in their series of publications against the US Government. These documents show how CIA might be hacking MacBooks and iPhones for past several years.
WikiLeaks has been attacking CIA for quite some time now and in past few weeks, it has given us enough details about various infiltrations that commoners or some specific people might be subjected to. Moving on with the ongoing Vault 7 publication, WikiLeaks recently published ‘Dark Matter’, a set of documents as a part of their work on hacking tools of CIA. This recent development is focused mostly on Apple products and their vulnerability to CIA's hacking.
WikiLeaks has stated how CIA is breaking into MacBooks and iPhones. The documents have detailed explanation of the process adopted by CIA for this. These documents are enough to highlight the weakness in Apple products even though most of these documents are more than seven years old and hence out of sync with the current products of the Apple.The documents reveal that CIA has been infecting MacBooks by using a tool called “Sonic Screwdriver” through USB port most probably while they had physical access to the desired device. There are other implants as well which can install themselves in the firmware interface of the computer which in turn makes them undetectable for usual forensic regularities.
As a reaction to this revelation, technology experts suggested that we should keep in mind that these bugs are old and it is unlikely that they'd be compatible with the current crop of Apple products but they cannot deny the possibility that CIA might have developed some new features to target present day MacBooks.
Meanwhile, on Sunday, WikiLeaks tweeted this particular message from all their official social media accounts and called all such claims as fake.
While addressing the media, Apple has strictly denied any such vulnerability to their products. Apple released their official statement which said "We have preliminarily assessed the WikiLeaks disclosures from this morning. Based on our initial analysis, the alleged iPhone vulnerability affected iPhone 3G only and was fixed in 2009 when iPhone 3GS was released. Additionally, our preliminary assessment shows the alleged Mac vulnerabilities were previously fixed in all Macs launched after 2013." Apple also assured all its users of the security and privacy and said that they do not coordinate with those who put their user's safety to harm by any means.
Another tool revealed in the documents has been said to infect iPhones as early as 2008. WikiLeaks suggested in its press conference that CIA has been targeting iPhone supply chain since 2008 and they are vulnerable to hacking as well.
According to WikiLeaks, CIA is infecting electronic devices way before they reach the market to be purchased by the final customer. Back in 2013, Edward Snowden also leaked some documents which suggested that the National Security Intelligence Agency of U.S is engaged in similar practices.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange held a press conference on Thursday stating that these recently disclosed documents are merely a tiny part of the CIA's cache of documents that WikiLeaks has but are yet to be published.
Such claims and research have made their mark into the public domain again and again in recent years. They raise a serious question about how secure a common person is. Although such technologies are useful for security of a nation but again how a normal citizen can be assured of his privacy? It will be interesting to follow what WikiLeaks reveals next in their series of Vault7 publication.