WikiLeaks hacking revelations
WikiLeaks is a multi-national media organisation specialising in the analysis and publication of censored and restricted official documents. On March 7th, WikiLeaks released a batch of highly confidential documents from a high security network within the CIA. The WikiLeaks hacking revelations are arguably the projects most important discovery yet.
The vault exposed evidence that the CIA have produced their own hacking tools for its assets to use. The tools can be used to hack a multitude of devices including iPhones and smart TV’s. Regarding the WikiLeaks hacking revelations, what does this mean for your business?
What are the hacking tools?
WikiLeaks discovered that the Center for Cyber Intelligence (CCI), or ‘CIA’s hacking division’ have created thousands of pieces of malware, viruses, Trojans and other tools. WikiLeaks says, “This extraordinary collection, which amounts to more than several hundred million lines of code, gives its possessor the entire hacking capacity of the CIA”. This suggests that any one person with access to the tool-set has the power of the whole CIA’s hacking division.
What are these tools used for?
WikiLeaks have also uncovered an array of intended uses for these tools. The documents revealed that the CIA worked with MI5 to develop malware that can infect Samsung smart TVs to enable hackers to turn the TV’s microphone on and collect audio data without the user knowing. Other evidence revealed that the CIA has used the software to gain control of modern cars and trucks. Most worryingly, the tools enable the CIA to bypass the encryption of WhatsApp by hacking smart phone operating systems, thus enabling the CIA to collect audio and message traffic before the encryption layer is applied.
Are these tools in the wrong hands?
If your business has no affiliation with the CIA then you may be wondering why the WikiLeaks hacking revelations are important to you. Unfortunately, these tools were passed between employees in an authorized manner and are now in the hands of ‘everyday hackers’ according to WikiLeaks. Therefore, there are people with the capability to exploit the tools and hack into any operating system on the planet.
What should your business do?
Whilst most people do not need to worry about being targeted by the CIA or any other intelligence agency. If the tools do get into the hands of someone with a vendetta against your business, you must ensure you have the correct security measures in place.
Firstly, you must ensure all the devices you use are running software with the latest security updates. You must also stress the importance of saying on top of software patches to all your employees to ensure they do not compromise your entire network.
The WikiLeaks documents also provided evidence that the CIA have discovered methods of injecting malware into routers. Therefore, if you use a router manufactured by Huawei, ZTE or Mercury it is recommended that you download the latest firmware update immediately.
You must provide training to ensure your staff are vigilant when using computer systems. Ensure your workers are careful when opening attachments or clicking links in emails. Make sure they do not browse websites they are unfamiliar with and always looks for the padlock icon or green bar in their browsers address bar.
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