WikiLeaks posted thousands of documents Tuesday that it said revealed important CIA hacking secrets, including the spy agency’s ability to penetrate encrypted communications apps such as Signal or WhatsApp.
NBC News has not verified the authenticity of the documents, and a CIA spokesman declined to comment.
“We do not comment on the authenticity or content of purported intelligence documents,” the CIA’s Jonathan Lieu told NBC News.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange told reporters the files are the most comprehensive release of U.S. spying documents ever, and amounted to the CIA’s hacking “arsenal.” WikiLeaks redacted the names of purported CIA officers and withheld other information it said might be too damaging.
According to WikiLeaks, the documents “[appear] to have been circulated among former U.S. government hackers and contractors in an unauthorized manner, one of whom has provided WikiLeaks with portions of the archive.”
It is no secret to anyone who follows intelligence that the CIA engaged in aggressive hacking around the world in pursuit if its spying missions, including breaking into phones, computer networks and other devices.
Many of the files released were not classified and some pointed to common web utilities or “how to”s on installing software and operating systems. However, If the more sensitive leaked documents are authentic, their release would seem to be a major blow to the CIA.
The U.S. government has said that WikiLeaks is a tool of Russian intelligence agencies.
Source: NBC News