Five Things To Know About The CIA Hack

Five Things To Know About The CIA Hack

In what is set to be the largest document leak in the history of the Central Intelligence Agency, Wikileaks is releasing more than 8000 documents obtained from an individual who had access to CIA’s hacking tools. The scariest part? These documents provide instructions on how to hack into government hardware.

This leak has government and private enterprises alike concerned and it will naturally raise questions while sparking debate about the future of mobile device security. Here are 5 things you should know about this leak:

  1. It’s not really ‘new’ news. This breach confirms what experts have been saying about platform insecurity all along. Hackers use sophisticated tools to bypass user security and privacy. The goal of the attacker is to operate quietly in the background, siphoning off data without giving any clues to the user. Successful hacks subvert the operating system to bypass the security built into good applications by accessing the microphone, webcam, or memory before the application can use it. These leaks reinforce the need to use more secure operating system technologies than the standard Android build. Enterprises and governments who are serious about keeping their data secure should be using secured Android versions to protect against hacks.
  2. Government agencies will not reveal weaknesses they discover. Apple was one of the developers affected by the breach and immediately started fixing the security weaknesses revealed in the leak. We can’t expect intelligence agencies to willingly reveal the exploits they use as this would be counter productive to their work.
  3. Will we ever have access to privacy again? Consider that the FBI wanted Apple to put a ‘backdoor’ into all iPhones so that FBI could decrypt information for law enforcement purposes.  If government is given backdoor access into personal devices, we can project that eventually those backdoors will be leaked and personal information will be revealed. This scenario is acceptable in the narrow view of law enforcement, but is a lack of privacy really what’s best for society as a whole? This should be a matter for serious public debate.
  4. This leak targets single devices. In comparison to the NSA, the CIA’s hack comprises methods on a smaller scale. While the NSA seeks to penetrate any and all foreign communications, the CIA’s approach appears to be limited to targeting single devices. That being said, the leak offers a “how to” guide for hackers who want to breach specific devices, which has frightening implications.
  5. The leak affected older operating systems. The Android exploits released so far affect older versions of the operating system (version 4.x, which is quite old). It is surprising there are not many exploits included for the more current 6.x and 7.x operating systems.  It could be that CIA does not have them. Alternatively, they may not have been leaked. Does this mean that the CIA simply is not good at hacking the majority of current devices?

With all of this information, one thing is for certain, this massive leak will lead to more discussion about mobile device security and management for both government and private industries.

Be prepared for any data breach with robust mobile security. Contact OptioLabs today.

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