CIA was hacking iPhones one year after launch: WikiLeaks

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New York: Whistleblower website WikiLeaks has claimed the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has been hacking Apple products to spy on their owners.

The new WikiLeaks release, called Vault 7 “Dark Matter,” was released on Thursday.  It described a handful of programs that the CIA has apparently used for nearly a decade—in some cases to surreptitiously monitor Apple device owners.

It also claimed that another bug called NightSkies 1.2, a “beacon/loader/implant tool,” has been specifically made for iPhones. The bug that runs in the background provides the CIA with command and control capabilities.

WikiLeaks said the malware has been installed on factory fresh devices since at least 2008 for surveillance. The website believes it’s possible the CIA had redirected iPhone shipments to install the tool.

“While CIA assets are sometimes used to physically infect systems in the custody of a target it is likely that many CIA physical access attacks have infected the targeted organization’s supply chain including by interdicting mail orders and other shipments (opening, infecting, and resending) leaving the United States or otherwise,” the organization said.

“Currently, NightSkies does not have stealth and persistence capabilities,” it said.

According to the report, the British and the US intelligence services have also been using smart televisions as spies and a covert microphone to collect information.

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