Latest WikiLeaks report how the CIA could compromise vehicle control systems

Article by Christian A., on March 13, 2017

WikiLeaks last week has insinuated that the US Central Intelligence Agency may hack the car’s computer system. The news came after the pro-transparency organization has released the highly confidential Year Zero documents of the CIA. This immediately led to speculations about vehicles being used to perform undetected murder--- particularly on highly classified CIA operations.

Many modern vehicles today as we know are run by vehicle control systems. WikiLeaks revealed that since October of 2014, the Central Intelligence Agency was looking at the possibilities of “infecting” the control system of some vehicles. Possibly to let them carry out virtually untraceable assassinations if they have to.

The leaked documents pointed out Blackberry’s QNX automotive software as part the list of vehicles under the CIA’s feasibility study for certain “potential mission areas”. If there are about 60 million vehicles using the software, it only means that most vehicles from 2014 onwards are also prone to CIA-developed hacking techniques.

In 2015, Fiat-Chrysler recalled about 1.4M vehicles after a high profile case was reported involving a hacked Jeep Cherokee. The hackers managed to take control of the vehicle’s steering, lose control of the brakes and put the vehicle’s engine to a sudden stop.

The non-profit organization led by Australian journalist Julian Assange likewise revealed how using the phone’s geolocation software can let the CIA tap into the car’s control system. According to the disclosed information, the CIA can turn your Samsung smart TVs, Microsoft Windows, Google Android and Apple iPhone into a secret listening device.

WikiLeaks also claimed that the infected smart devices can be “instructed” to deliver the user’s current geolocation, audio and SMS communications to the CIA. The intelligence agency is also capable of activating the smartphone’s mic and camera to be used as spying tools.

According to the recently published WikiLeaks report, the CIA can “bypass” certain encryption methods used by several online communication applications. The apps mentioned on their website includes Cloackman, Confide, Weibo, Telegram, Signal and WhatsApp.

The news leaks also reveal the joint cooperation between M15/BTSS or the UK domestic intelligence agency and Samsung Smart TV. It says the CIA developed a so-called “Weeping Angel” to infect Smart TVs and transform these devices into secret microphones. The CIA’s EDB (Embedded Devices Branch) has allegedly developed such software to record conversations and send information via the Internet using a “covert CIA server.” After the smart TV is infiltrated, the “Weeping Angel” comes up with a “Fake-Off” mode that lets the owner think that the TV is already turned off while in fact it is still running.

Last week, Assange was supposedly scheduled to divulge more details about the Year Zero via Facebook. However, the livestream was hacked, according to reports. There are no details yet regarding the next schedule.

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