WikiLeaks confirms that CIA can turn Windows PCs into spy tools

Madeleine Dean By: Madeleine Dean
4 minute read

Home » WikiLeaks confirms that CIA can turn Windows PCs into spy tools

“Nothing is free in this world.”

“If something is free, you are the product.”

We’re sure many of you have heard these words of wisdom, but somehow it’s hard to believe they hold truth. Technology users like it when they can use a product for free and often they simply choose to ignore the quotes listed above.

As the internet continue to evolve, more and more users are concerned about their privacy and try to limit the amount of data various companies collect on them. When you connect to Google, various tools such as cookies track your every move. That’s the price you pay for using the service. Does the same happen when you start your Windows 10 computer?

WikiLeaks, Windows 10 and the CIA

Following the recent wave of leaked documents published by WikiLeaks, thousands of Windows 10 users have asked this question:

Let me guess, Windows 10 was made free to download when it was released so the CIA could quickly get millions of people to adopt to an even more sinister spy OS?

The recently leaked documents codenamed “Vault 7” have caused much unrest among Windows 10 users. This is not the first time users question Windows 10’s privacy policy but it appears that this time the level of uncertainty and doubt has significantly increased.

I guarantee anything sinister Microsoft is doing isn’t going to show up in the standard process list in task manager anyways. When you open task manager you see one .exe file that’s visible a bunch, it’s called “svchost.exe” or Service Host: Local / Service Host: Network. That’s where microsoft is going to hide sinister services. […]

Normal users aren’t downloading tools to see all the crap svchost is running, and have of them are files named like msvcsvc32.svc or .dll or something in that realm, so you really really have to dig to find out what they are doing.

As a quick reminder,Windows 10 users have viciously criticized the operating system’s spy-like behavior for the following reasons:

  • Windows 10 malware-like install behavior. Many users accused Microsoft of forcefully installing the OS on their computers. Remember those episodes when there was absolutely no option available to refuse the install of Windows 10? Let us not forget users can still upgrade to Windows 10 for free even to this day.
  • Cortana knows everything about you. Microsoft’s digital assistant can now read your emails to make sure that you always keep your promises. The tool analyzes your every key stroke and every uttered syllable—all in order to better help you.
  • OneDrive knows more about you than you think. Each and every time you sign it to your computer using your Microsoft account, Windows 10 syncs all your data to the company’s servers. This includes browser history and passwords.
  • Future plans to spy on users. Microsoft recently patented a new technology to spy users for better Bing results.

Is there a spy-proof OS?

As the Vault 7 leaked documents confirm, there is no spy-proof OS. If the CIA or any other organization wanted, it could take control over your computer at any moment using your device’s camera and microphone to spy on you.

The CIA also runs a very substantial effort to infect and control Microsoft Windows users with its malware. This includes multiple local and remote weaponized “zero days”, air gap jumping viruses such as “Hammer Drill” which infects software distributed on CD/DVDs, infectors for removable media such as USBs, systems to hide data in images or in covert disk areas ( “Brutal Kangaroo”) and to keep its malware infestations going.

The CIA has developed automated multi-platform malware attack and control systems covering Windows, Mac OS X, Solaris, Linux and more […]

What’s the solution?

If you really want to keep your life completely private, the best solution is to stop using the internet altogether, ditch your smartphone and replace it with a phone manufactured in the ’90s. Of course, such actions are unrealistic in today’s world. Technology and internet access are extremely useful and ditching them would change your life. A more realistic solution is to use the best possible means to reduce the amount of information being collected on you. For more information, check out the articles listed below:

Have the recent leaked affected your trust in Windows 10? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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