Old WikiLeaks documents reveals how the CIA can hack your Windows PC

Edward Hudson By: Edward Hudson
2 minute read

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It seems that the NSA is not the only government agency intruding into restricted domains: an old WikiLeaks document now reveals that the CIA keeps and regularly updates a file that contains instructions on how to hack Windows 8.

WikiLeaks’ Vault 7 files uncover a vast array of intrusion tools the CIA has developed for hacking operations. The almost 9,000-page library of secrets from WikiLeaks came to light last week. While researchers sifting through the web-based catalog of secret files have yet to find actual code, details about CIA’s hacking techniques and exploits targeting mobile devices and PCs are evident.

Treasure trove of data

In a press release, WikiLeaks described Vault 7 as “the largest ever publication of confidential documents” on the CIA. The hacker collective says:

The first full part of the series, “Year Zero”, comprises 8,761 documents and files from an isolated, high-security network situated inside the CIA’s Center for Cyber Intelligence in Langley, Virgina. It follows an introductory disclosure last month of CIA targeting French political parties and candidates in the lead up to the 2012 presidential election.

In the file, CIA’s User #3375374 describes the steps to skip Windows 8’s product key activation stage, therefore letting the agency use the operating system with no charge. WikiLeaks explains that the CIA intends to infect and control Windows users with its malware, including multiple local and remote weaponized “zero days”, “Hammer Drill” which infects software distributed on CD/DVDs, infectors for removable media, systems to hide data in images or in covert disk areas.

The CIA’s Automated Implant Branch created several attack systems for automated infestation and control of CIA malware, such as “Assassin” and “Medusa”. Also, the agency’s Network Devices Branch developed attacks against internet infrastructure and webservers. The CIA also built automated multi-platform malware attack and control systems that cover Windows, Mac OS X, Solaris, Linux and more.

Does the new WikiLeaks revelation surprise you? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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