iPhones, Android Devices & Samsung TVs Vulnerable to CIA Spies, Leaks Reveal

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A major CIA leak published by WikiLeaks on Tuesday revealed that the world’s most popular smartphones and television sets from a major manufacturer are vulnerable to the covert agency’s burgeoning cyber unit.The leak of more than 8,000 CIA documents to anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks contains perhaps the most explosive set of revelations since NSA secrets were provided to journalists by whistleblower Edward Snowden. The CIA has reportedly declined to comment on the authenticity of the documents, but WikiLeaks has a long history of disclosing genuine top-secret government files. Dubbed “Vault 7,” the document dump outlines the vast resources at the disposal of the CIA’s Center for Cyber Intelligence, the agency’s own version of the NSA. These include an arsenal of computer exploits—malware, viruses, trojans and other invasive tools—the CIA’s covert hacking operation can deploy to target Apple iPhones, Google Android devices, Samsung TVs, Microsoft’s ubiquitous operation system Windows, and other targets. Among the most eye-opening of the disclosures is a CIA Center for Cyber Intelligence attack cryptically called “Weeping Angel” targeting Samsung smart televisions. The intrusion allows government hackers to manipulate the TVs to act as if they’re turned off while covertly recording conversations and routing audio files to a secret CIA server. The attack was allegedly developed alongside the United Kingdom’s MI5 agency, according to the WikiLeaks. One document published by the group Tuesday titled “Weeping Angel – Things you might do” considers the possibility of extracting browser history and WiFi credentials from Samsung TVs and opportunities to remotely access devices. Also troubling for privacy advocates, the CIA has found a way to circumvent encrypted messaging software like Signal, WhatsApp and Telegram by accessing smartphones directly and collecting communications before encryption protocols take effect, WikiLeaks revealed. In response, Telegram said it was “misleading” to suggest that its software is prone to CIA attacks. WikiLeaks did not identify the source of the leaks, but the group said the person sought to inspire an “urgently” needed debate into the agency’s cyber division powers. “The source wishes to initiate a public debate about the security, creation, use, proliferation and democratic control of cyberweapons,” WikiLeaks said in a press release accompanying the disclosures. WikiLeaks also noted that the CIA “lost control of the majority of its hacking arsenal”—encompassing more than a hundred million lines of code—which would give any person in possession of the arsenal “the entire hacking capacity of the CIA.” The CIA’s extensive hacking unit included more than 5,000 users at the end of last year. The state-sponsored hackers were so prodigious that they “utilized more code than that used to run Facebook,” according to WikiLeaks. What the CIA achieved in terms of building its army of hackers was impressive. If what the documents indicate are true, it would mean the agency, much like the National Security Agency, is capable of large-scale cyber espionage, but without public oversight and working as rivals to the NSA instead of collaborators. “The archive appears to have been circulated among former U.S. government hackers and contractors in an unauthorized manner, one of whom has provided WikiLeaks with portions of the archive,” the organization said. The disclosures are the most significant in the nascent Trump administration and may rival those by NSA whistleblower Snowden, who revealed massive government spying on a scale never before known publicly. WikiLeaks was previously the source of 700,000 secret U.S. State Department cables and military documents regarding the Iraq and Afghan wars leaked by Chelsea Manning. Prior to leaving office, former President Obama commuted Manning’s sentence, effective later this year. The group’s mercurial leader, Julian Assange, has most recently made news for WikiLeaks’ release of emails from the Democratic National Committee, Hillary Clinton, and a powerful Democratic operative during last year’s presidential election campaign. The Russian government was allegedly the source of the disclosures, though no definitive proof has yet to emerge publicly.Now WikiLeaks is making waves again. In an increasingly interconnected world, the revelations could trigger yet another public debate about privacy in the United States and abroad. That’s because the ubiquitous smartphones around the world are predominantly Google Android and Apple iPhone devices—both of which the CIA’s hacking division can allegedly exploit, according to WikiLeaks.Google’s Android operating system, which is the software used by several leading smartphone makers, accounts for more than 80-percent of the worldwide market share as opposed to Apple’s 12-percent share. The documents state that the CIA’s Mobile Devices Branch can deploy attacks “to remotely hack and control popular smartphones.” The person conducting the hack can gain access to the smartphone owner’s geolocation, audio and text communications, and remotely engage the phone’s camera and microphone, the documents suggest. Included in the dump was information about a program called “Umbrage,” in which the CIA can re-use malicious attacks that originated from other countries, including Russia. If the CIA repurposes such an attack, it can appear as if it were deployed from where it originated, thus misleading investigators. WikiLeaks said some information, such as email addresses and names, had been redacted prior to publication. The documents cover a three-year period from 2013 to 2016.last_img read more

Eversheds change of toon trips up city developers

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Afterthoughts: Jim Boeheim said Syracuse ‘almost never’ loses because of defense. Then it did.

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Syracuse added four new players to its rotation this season — two fifth-year graduate transfers and two freshmen — and they all agreed adjusting to head coach Jim Boeheim’s patented 2-3 zone defense presented the transition’s most difficult challenge.  That’s still apparent 12 games into the season.The rotations, traps and close-outs have all been lacking. After nearly every game this season, Boeheim pointed out there’s room for improvement. Syracuse was a new team, so this was anticipated.But now, the explanation of being new has gotten old. The Orange (7-5) was throttled, 93-60, by St. John’s (6-7) after its defense failed and SU didn’t even compete in the second half. Point guard Frank Howard said the team has to do some soul-searching. Syracuse has six days between its most devastating home loss in the Boeheim era and its next game. And then conference play starts. And it only gets tougher from there.The Orange is in such a bad spot the 41-year head coach said he doesn’t even know what he’s doing with this team. By this point in the year, Boeheim said his team’s defense should be better than it is. But based on the way the Orange has been playing, 0-5 against major-conference opponents, Boeheim said SU’s 33-point loss to St. John’s was “totally expected.”After Syracuse’s first loss of the year on Nov. 26 to South Carolina, 64-50, Boeheim blamed the offense. Losses are “almost never” because of defense, he said.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textSeven games and four more losses later, though, SU is still figuring out Boeheim’s zone. St. John’s picked it apart by getting the ball into the high post. When the defense has been beat over the years, that’s where it’s often been. The Red Storm executed to a T and the Orange crumbled.“We just broke down on defense,” fifth-year senior center Dajuan Coleman said Wednesday night.“Execution. Defense. That’s it,” fifth-year transfer guard John Gillon said.“We’re not where we want to be,” fifth-year transfer wing Andrew White said.On too many ocassions this year, Syracuse’s guards have been slow to rotate to open perimeter shooters. (See: 11 3-pointers allowed to North Florida, 16 to Boston University and 12 to St. John’s). Guards Gillon and White, for their college basketball experience, are inexperienced in the unique defensive scheme.Syracuse has a 37.2 percent “minutes continuity rate,” a Kenpom.com statistic measuring the percentage of players’ minutes carried over from prior season. This means the Orange ranks 282nd in the country and falls well below the Division I average of 49.6 percent. When playing a defense that requires every player to move in rhythm, the Orange breakdowns from new players have shown effects. They came to a head against the Red Storm.“Good question,” Boeheim said when asked why St. John’s was able to find open space on the perimeter. “That’s what they did.”The Orange will begin Atlantic Coast Conference play on Jan. 1, providing SU with a double-edged sword. The competition will be stiff and Syracuse could play itself back into NCAA Tournament contention, or it could keep losing more and more.In the offseason, Jim Boeheim told ESPN that this is the best team he’s had in a long time. Twelve games in, it’s proven to be one of his worst. Comments Published on December 22, 2016 at 12:39 pm Contact Paul: pmschwed@syr.edu | @pschwedslast_img read more