WikiLeaks releases documents on Macbook and iPhone CIA hacking tools

WikiLeaks releases documents on Macbook and iPhone CIA hacking tools
When Edward Snowden made his claims that the NSA was tapping into personal data and had access to many people’s computers, a lot of folks took it as “random” news, or “just another headline”. Earlier this month, whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks published thousands of documents that reveal various ways in which the CIA is able to break into your smartphone, computer or Samsung Smart TV. It has now published a second batch of documents, called Dark Matter, showing that the CIA is in possession of malware able to easily get into iPhones or MacBooks, too.

Sonic Screwdriver is the name of one of CIA’s tools that affects Mac computers through a Thunderbolt-to-Ethernet adaptor, which adaptor is capable of affecting more than one computer, if used on multiple devices. You don’t really need to do anything specific, as the algorithm would automatically infiltrate the device when the dongle is plugged in. The software gets to the very core of the system, making it incredibly hard to detect and remove. In this sense, the Sonic Screwdriver has been compared to a known bug, called Thunderstrike 2, which was discovered to plague Macs two years ago. Even though they seem to have borrowed the name from Doctor Who’s sci-fi tool to call their malware by, the CIA definitely found cool application for it, hands down.

Triton and Der Starke are two other malware tools that CIA uses to remotely gain access to data on computers. They can tap into computers from pretty much anywhere on the globe, giving CIA virtually free entry to any stored files or folders. Once installed, these are kind of impossible to remove and are said to remain in the computer, even after macOS reinstallation.

Dark Matter also reveals the NightSkies tool, which, allegedly, affected iPhone 3G and its iOS 2.1. The malware gave the government agency access to quite a lot of information on the smartphone, and also allowed to distantly execute commands on it.

These tools are quite old, though, and no longer in operation. However, we simply can't help but wonder whether the CIA has updated versions of its tools to work with contemporary iOS and Android code. *Big Brother theme song plays*

source: WikiLeaks via TechTimes

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