It all started at WikiLeaks HQ…
Ecuadorian embassy London. In case you don’t know WikiLeaks it’s a daredevil whistle blowing site that exposes top governments around the world.
Stories about Hillary Clinton’s emails, Australia internet censor scandal, United States war crimes, climate change scam, Sony fraud, church of scientologist extremism all originated from WikiLeaks
Julianne Assange the owner of WikiLeaks is a wanted man. American government and many other countries want to try him for espionage. Mr. Assange is presently on political asylum in the Ecuadorean embassy in UK. London police are outside this embassy to put him on hand cuffs if he steps out. While his supporters are also there to demonstrate from time to time
And of course many attempts have been made to assassinate him . Get the picture? great.
Tuesday 7 March 2017: WikiLeaks exposes US CIA
Another leak by WikiLeaks in a series of articles tagged Vault 7.
WikiLeaks published 8,761 documents and files outlining the CIA’s hacking toolkit. The CIA occasionally breaks into Apple, Google, Microsoft and android software
In one instant it described an attack against a Samsung internet-connected TV which was developed alongside U.K. spy agency MI5, in which the set is in a “fake-off” mode, so the owner thinks it is off when it’s actually on. The “fake-off” mode acts as a bug, recording conversations in the room and sends them over to the CIA.
CIA objectives for these hacks were to monitor and bug adversaries and to create codes for cyber warfare like shutting down an enemy power grid, hospital system or to hack traffic lights in a big city to cause chaos.
NSA & Tech giants in Damage control mode
The CIA responded:
“It is our mission is to aggressively collect foreign intelligence overseas to protect America from terrorists, hostile nation states, and other adversaries. It is CIA job to be innovative cutting edge and the first line of defense in protecting this country from enemies abroad. America deserves nothing less” They also reiterated that they do not bug Americans.
Major technology companies also responded;
Apple, Google, Microsoft moved to reassure customers they are safe “We are aware of the report and we are looking into it,” a Microsoft spokesperson told CNBC.
Apple claimed the “issues leaked today were already patched in the latest ios we will continue work to rapidly address any identified vulnerabilities”.
Of course the tech giants moved to patch-up the vulnerability and send updates to owners, but unfortunately many internet users refer to these update as annoying pop ups
Life moved on, internally the CIA and tech giants were working to manage their issues
The story slowly faded into the background… or so we thought.
May 12th 2017: Ransomware attack wannacry
A type of malicious software that takes over a computer and locks the user out, preventing them from accessing any files until they pay money. This particular program, called Wanna Cry, asks for about $300, though the price increases over time.
In simple English the flaw in Microsoft discovered by the CIA and used as a hacking tool has gotten into the wrong hands. As we speak over 150 countries have been affected. Hospitals, railroads and transportations have been tied down in many countries and corporations
And the impact is still spreading.
The blame game…
It’s unclear who has taken advantage of the CIA hacking materials released, but so far around 300,000 machines in 150 countries have been affected. Businesses are still reeling from the fallout, and government agencies around the world are investigating.
Microsoft is blaming the NSA of taking advantage of their weak spots. Preliminary investigations are pointing to North Korea and The NSA are internally blaming WikiLeaks
And WikiLeaks… well it’s what they do. Create Pandemonium.
Whoever is responsible Microsoft is in damage control, patching and fixing. They have also released steps to protect your computer:
- update your windows devices, the ransomware attacks majorly outdated windows XP , 6 and 7
- Visiting unsafe, suspicious, or fake websites.
- Opening emails and email attachments from people you don’t know, or that you weren’t expecting.
- Clicking on malicious or bad links in emails, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media posts, instant messenger chats, like Skype.
So what next, we wait for season 2 and enjoy the unfolding drama.
who knows, apple or Google could be next.