CIA "Weapons" Let Hackers Use Your Computer, Phone, & TV to Spy on You

By  C. Mitchell Shaw - Posted at The New American:

With the WikiLeaks disclosures Tuesday about the hacking capabilities of the CIA, it is now known that the agency can hack at least on par with the NSA and with even less accountability. One element of that is the ability to remotely access devices — such as computers, mobile devices, and televisions — to watch and listen to targets. Of course, since the CIA has lost control over its hacking tools, others now have that same ability.

As The New American reported Wednesday:

On Tuesday, WikiLeaks released the first part of a “new series of leaks on the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency” that shows the CIA has been secretly building an arsenal of hacking tools and an army of hackers to rival — if not exceed — the hacking capabilities of the NSA. The leaked documents also show that the CIA — in a move reminiscent of the Keystone Kops — “lost control of the majority of its hacking arsenal,” allowing it to fall into the hands of hackers who have even less moral constraint than the CIA (if that were possible).

The arsenal of cyber “weapons” developed by the CIA includes malware, viruses, trojans, malware remote-control systems, and weaponized "zero day" exploits. “Zero day” exploits refer to those vulnerabilities that hackers discover but are not known to the manufacturer of the hardware or software — therefore the developer has “zero days” to patch the vulnerabilities before they are used as exploits. By exploiting these vulnerabilities, hackers at the CIA developed ways to penetrate the systems running the vulnerable software and firmware to gain control over mobile devices such as iPhones, iPads, and Android phones and tablets, SmartTVs, and computers running Windows, Mac, Linux, Solaris, and other operating systems.

Once the hackers have control of those devices, they can remotely activate the cameras and microphones, turning the devices into surveillance apparatus owned and operated by the subjects (read: victims) of the surveillance — all without any indication to the owners of the devices that they were being watched and listened to. No light. No indicators. Pure, surreptitious surveillance.