Published in News

Symantec finds CIA fingerprints in hacks

by on11 April 2017

CIA hacking tool used 40 times

Security researcher Symantec said that a CIA hacking tool presumably exposed by the Russian secret service and given to Wikileaks has been used more than 40 times in different hacks.

Symantec said it had connected at least 40 attacks in 16 countries to the tools obtained by WikiLeaks.The CIA has not confirmed the WikiLeaks documents are genuine. But agency spokeswoman Heather Fritz Horniak said that any WikiLeaks disclosures aimed at damaging the intelligence community "not only jeopardize US personnel and operations, but also equip our adversaries with tools and information to do us harm.

"It is important to note that CIA is legally prohibited from conducting electronic surveillance targeting individuals here at home, including our fellow Americans, and the CIA does not do so," Horniak said.

Symantec researcher Eric Chien said the CIA tools described by WikiLeaks did not involve mass surveillance, and all of the targets were government entities or had legitimate national security value for other reasons, 

However some of the targets are US allies in Europe and there are organisations in there that people would be surprised were targets. 

Symantec said sectors targeted by operations employing the tools included financial, telecommunications, energy, aerospace, information technology, education, and natural resources.

Besides Europe, countries were hit in the Middle East, Asia, and Africa. One computer was infected in the United States in what was likely an accident - the infection was removed within hours. All the programmes were used to open back doors, collect and remove copies of files, rather than to destroy anything.

Chien said the WikiLeaks documents are so complete that they likely encompass the CIA’s entire hacking toolkit, including many taking advantage of previously unknown flaws.

A group calling itself the Shadow Brokers on Saturday released another batch of pilfered National Security Agency hacking tools, along with a blog post slamming President Donald Trump for attacking Syria and moving away from his conservative political base.

Last modified on 11 April 2017
Rate this item
(0 votes)

Read more about: