Wikileaks insists it did not publish the actual codes.
The investigation is looking into how the documents came into WikiLeaks’ possession and whether they might have been leaked by an employee or contractor. The CIA is also trying to determine if there are other unpublished documents WikiLeaks may have.
The documents published so far are largely genuine, officials said, though they are not yet certain if all of them are and whether some of the documents may have been altered.
Wikileaks suggested it received the documents from someone within the agency:
WikiLeaks said the CIA recently “lost control” of the majority of its hacking arsenal. “This extraordinary collection, which amounts to more than several hundred million lines of code, gives its possessor the entire hacking capacity of the CIA,” the site said in a statement. “The archive appears to have been circulating among former U.S. government hackers and contractors in an unauthorized manner, one of whom has provided WikiLeaks with portions of the archive.”
The documents included details about the UMBRAGE group, which has malware from other countries that the CIA can use and disguise its own fingerprints.
The CIA malware allows the hackers to attack iPhones, Androids, and smart TVs. The Embedded Devices Branch (EDB) developed “Weeping Angel” specifically for the smart TVs by “transforming them into covert microphones.” The malware will turn the TV into “Fake-Off” mode so the agents can keep recording the person.
The government has concerns that Wikileaks published legit computer code within these documents, which could lead to hackers taking the “code and cause havoc overseas.”
However, Wikileaks dismissed this claim when it released the documents:
WikiLeaks said in its statement that it was not publishing such information as computer source code that could be used to replicate the tools it claims to have exposed. But the group left open the possibility of publishing those crucial details if “a consensus emerges on the technical and political nature of the CIA’s program and how such ‘weapons’ should [sic] analyzed, disarmed and published.”
Samsung announced the company will also investigate the allegations that the CIA uses its smart TVs as a way to spy on people:
“Protecting consumers’ privacy and the security of our devices is a top priority at Samsung,” the company said in a statement.
“We are aware of the report in question and are urgently looking into the matter.”
In 2015, the company released a warning about its smart TVs voice recognition feature: