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Americans should be deeply troubled by WikiLeaks disclosures, says CIA


Julian Assange is the founder of WikiLeaks

Julian Assange is the founder of WikiLeaks

Julian Assange is the founder of WikiLeaks

The CIA has warned that Americans should be "deeply troubled" by WikiLeaks' disclosure of thousands of intelligence documents that purportedly detail ways the agency does its hacking.

In a statement CIA spokeswoman Heather Fritz Horniak said the agency would not comment on the authenticity of the documents released or on the status of any investigation into the source of the documents.

On Tuesday, WikiLeaks released documents it claims show a broad program by the CIA to turn everyday gadgets such as iPhones into snooping tools by exploiting previously undisclosed software flaws.

The agency said such disclosures not only jeopardise US personnel and operations, but also equip American adversaries with tools and information to damage national security.

Intelligence and law enforcement officials are still reviewing the cache of more than 8,000 documents which describe clandestine methods for bypassing or defeating encryption, antivirus tools and other protective security features intended to keep the private information of citizens and corporations safe from prying eyes.

US government employees, including President Donald Trump, use many of the same products and internet services purportedly compromised by the tools.

The documents describe CIA efforts - co-operating with friendly foreign governments and the US National Security Agency - to subvert the world's most popular technology platforms, including Apple's iPhones and iPads, Google's Android phones and the Microsoft Windows operating system for desktop computers and laptops.

The documents also included discussions about compromising some internet-connected televisions to turn them into listening posts.

One document discusses hacking vehicle systems, indicating the CIA's interest in hacking modern cars with sophisticated on-board computers.

WikiLeaks has a long track record of releasing top secret government documents, and experts who sifted through the material said it appeared legitimate.

Apple said on Wednesday that many of the security vulnerabilities were fixed weeks ago.

Its initial analysis showed that its latest version of the iOS system software for iPhones and iPads fixes many of those flaws.

Google has not commented yet on similar vulnerabilities with its Android system.


PA Media