MOSCOW (Sputnik) — WikiLeaks has revealed four secret documents from the Central Intelligence Agency's (CIA) Protego project of microcontroller-based missile control system for Pratt & Whitney jets equipped with air-to-air and air-to-ground missile launch systems.
"Protego is not the 'usual' malware development project like all previous publications by WikiLeaks in the Vault7 series. The Protego project is a PIC-based missile control system that was developed by Raytheon. The documents indicate that the system is installed on-board a Pratt & Whitney aircraft (PWA) equipped with missile launch systems," Wikileaks said in a press release.
After receiving three specific signals from a beacon, missiles could be launched. "Similary safeguards are in place to auto-destruct encryption and authentication keys for various scenarios (like 'leaving a target area of operation' or 'missing missle')."
The whistleblowing site said that "there is no indication" why the Protego project is part of the Vault 7 documents, which mostly contains a large archive comprising various viruses, malware, software vulnerability hacks and relevant documentation. According to Wikileaks, the project was maintained between 2014 and 2015.
The Raytheon Company is a major US defense contractor and industrial corporation specializing in weapons and military and commercial electronics. Raytheon's sales amounted to $26 billion in 2016. Pratt & Whitney is a US-based aerospace manufacturer, producing mostly aircraft engines and gas turbines, its revenue totaled $14 billion in 2015.
The publictaions are made as part of the Vault 7 project, a large archive of CIA-related classified documents that Wikieaks has obtained. The platform released the first batch of the documents in March, containing a total of 8,761 documents. According to the website, a large archive comprising various viruses, malware, software vulnerability hacks and relevant documentation, was uncovered by US government hackers, which is how WikiLeaks gained access to some of the data from the trove.