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Central Intelligence Agency 'devastatingly incompetent', says Assange

Central Intelligence Agency 'devastatingly incompetent', says Assange

A statement from the anti-secrecy organization said that the 8,761 documents were obtained from "an isolated, high-security network" situated inside the CIA's hacking division, the Center for Cyber Intelligence, in Langley, Virgina.

The document, and subsequent analysis on the Wikileaks press release, claims the CIA's hacking arsenal had grown to more than a thousand programmes by the end of 2016.

The Wikileaks disclosure has reignited a debate over whether US intelligence agencies should disclose software vulnerabilities to companies so they can be fixed, or hoard them so they can be used for spying. There are also details on how the agency sought to subvert U.S. software products and smartphones, which included the Apple iPhone, Googl'es Android and Microsoft Windows.

The Vault 7 document and code cache released yesterday by WikiLeaks revealed that many big software companies were being actively exploited by the Central Intelligence Agency.

The listed Android exploits, one-third of which were named after Pokemon creatures, would give hackers remote access to devices, allowing spies to bypass encrypted messages. Some of the material was redacted by WikiLeaks to avoid releasing the actual computer code used in the programs.

In January, the US intelligence community concluded that hackers associated with Russian intelligence agencies had stolen documents from USA political institutions - including the Democratic National Committee - and given them to WikiLeaks, who later published them.

It said that similar unit targets Google's Android mobile operating system, used by smartphone manufacturers including Samsung, Sony and HTC.

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In response to the release, CIA spokesman Dean Boyd said, "We do not comment on the authenticity or content of purported intelligence documents".

"Once the material is effectively disarmed, we will publish additional details", Mr Assange said.

A number of anecdotal examples of the CIA's hacking technology were revealed in the data dump. Williams, who has had experience dealing with government hackers said that the extensive reference to operation security meant that they involved the government, Williams said: "I can't fathom anyone fabricated that amount of operational security concern".

WikiLeaks said software was developed to turn Samsung smart TVs into listening devices, a project codenamed Weeping Angel which the report claims also included input from the UK's MI5.

WikiLeaks hasn't released any code, saying that it has avoided "the distribution of "armed" cyberweapons until a consensus emerges on the technical and political nature of the CIA's program and how such "weapons" should [be] analyzed, disarmed and published".

The FBI is now frantically hunting for the "mole" who disclosed the information to WikiLeaks, which has said more revelations are coming.

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