Rocked by WikiLeaks’ latest release of thousands of files that are believed to expose C.I.A.’s hacking tools and tactics, U.S. federal agencies have launched a criminal investigation to establish how the data reached the whistleblower site. Without commenting on the authenticity of the leaked documents, a C.I.A. official claimed that the “incredibly damaging” disclosure is designed to dent intelligence agencies’ abilities and to strengthen the adversaries of America.
The leaked documents, said to date between 2013 and 2016, claim that C.I.A. has developed malware that compromised several tech products including smartphones and smart touchscreen T.V.s from brands like Apple, Samsung and Microsoft, writes the BBC.
Some officials said that the intelligence gathering, described in the documents, is legal against overseas targets while admitting that U.S. laws prohibit such electronic surveillance at home, notes CNN. The documents also claimed that foreign spies and criminals have access to C.I.A.’s “privacy-crushing cyber weapons.”