WikiLeaks' disclosure could blow cover on hacking operations

Indo Asian News Service

Washington, April 1 (IANS) WikiLeaks latest disclosure of CIA cyber-tools reveals a technique used by the agency to hide its digital tracks, potentially blowing the cover on hacking operations aimed at gathering intelligence on foreign targets, the media reported.

The release on Friday of the Central Intelligence Agency's "Marble Framework" comes less than a month after the WikiLeaks disclosed a trove of files -- dubbed "Vault 7" -- that described the type of malware and methods the CIA uses to gain access to targets' phones, computers and other electronic devices, The Washington Post reported.

The material includes the secret source code of an "obfuscation" technique used by the CIA so its malware can evade detection by anti-virus systems.

The technique is used by all professional hackers, whether they work for the National Security Agency, Moscow's FSB security agency or the Chinese military.

Since the code contains a specific algorithm -- a digital fingerprint of sorts -- it can now be used to identify CIA hacking operations that had previously been detected but not attributed, The Washington Post said.

In response, CIA spokesman Dean Boyd said late Friday: "Dictators and terrorists have no better friend in the world than Julian Assange, as theirs is the only privacy he protects."

It said "the American public should be deeply troubled by any WikiLeaks disclosure designed to damage the intelligence community's ability to protect America against terrorists and other adversaries," The Washington Post quoted Boid as saying.

"Such disclosures not only jeopardise US personnel and operations but also equip our adversaries with tools and information to do us harm," he added.

--IANS

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