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    'Vault 7': WikiLeaks Exposes CIA's Global Covert Hacking Program in Largest Ever Leak (46)

    In an interview with Sputnik France, French communications expert Antoine Lefebure focused on WikiLeaks' recent disclosure of a massive new trove of leaks related to the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), code-named "Vault 7."

    On March 7, WikiLeaks released the first part of what it called an unprecedentedly large archive of CIA-related classified documents.

    The first part of the leaks, dubbed "Year Zero" comprises about 8,761 documents and files from an isolated, high-security network situated inside the CIA's Center for Cyber Intelligence in Langley, Virgina.

    The Year Zero leaks reveal the scope and direction of the US intelligence agency's "global covert hacking program, its malware arsenal and dozens of 'zero day' weaponized exploits against a wide range of US and European company products, including Apple's iPhone, Google's Android and Microsoft's Windows and even Samsung TVs, which are turned into covert microphones."

    The revelations come after claims made by the US intelligence agencies alleging Russian meddling in November's US presidential election. Russian government officials have repeatedly denied these accusations.

    Speaking to Sputnik France, Antoine Lefebure, a French communications expert and author of a book titled 'The Snowden Case: How the CIA Spies on the World', specifically drew attention to the huge trove of top-secret information exposed by WikiLeaks.

    "What we did not know was the scale [of all this], and in this respect it turned out that it was a kind of Wikipedia of hacking for 5,000 users from the US intelligence agencies — not only from the CIA — who exchange information and techniques pertaining to  interception programs," Lefebure said.

    The expert tried to calm down all those who could be targets of CIA surveillance, recalling that it is irrelevant to draw parallels between the CIA and the US National Security Agency (NSA) in terms of activity.

    "They are working on different things. The NSA carries out general surveillance, while the CIA is engaged, as we see, in tapping personal computers and personal telephones. They need to have access to these devices in order to track them, that is, they need to hold a device in their hand for several minutes. This is the work that the CIA can do," Lefebure said.

    He added that in particular, the leaks contained information related to the CIA's monitoring of the upcoming presidential elections in France, something that he said "is done by [the intelligence agencies of] other large countries, but on a smaller scale."

    Thomas Watanabe-Vermorel, press secretary of the French Pirate Party, for his part, told Sputnik France that "we must understand that all this inevitably goes hand in hand with massive espionage in general, carried out in line with a certain algorithm."

    "This allows you to 'spot' what can be seen as suspicious behavior while automatically determining the profile of a person, which also raises other problems: deontological, ethical, political and, of course, problems related to democracy," he said.

    The CIA's technical capabilities are not limited to surveillance through computers, telephones, televisions or cars equipped with network capabilities.

    In this vein, Antoine Lefebure specifically pointed to one of the CIA's spy programs, which he said is of special significance on the eve of the French presidential elections and against the backdrop of the paranoia concerning Russian hackers which came after last year's elections in the US.

    "The CIA has a program through which they intercept the spyware of all other countries, including Russia, China, France and Ukraine. It allows them to install a kind of identity card in these programs in order to pretend that its own espionage program is being conducted by some other country," he concluded.

    Meanwhile, Wikileaks said that since 2001, the CIA "has gained political and budgetary preeminence" over the NSA.

    According to the whistleblowing site, the CIA built a "globe-spanning force — its own substantial fleet of hackers." Moreover, the agency's hacking division is not allowed to disclose its operations to the NSA.

    "The CIA had created, in effect, its 'own NSA' with even less accountability and without publicly answering the question as to whether such a massive budgetary spend on duplicating the capacities of a rival agency could be justified," WikiLeaks said.

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    'Vault 7': WikiLeaks Exposes CIA's Global Covert Hacking Program in Largest Ever Leak (46)


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    computers, device, information, hacking, elections, CIA, WikiLeaks, NSA, Wikipedia, United States
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