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Can the CIA control your phone? WikiLeaks claims explainedThe leaked documents describe alleged hacking tools used by the CIA to spy on devices like phones and TVs. CNET's security reporter Laura Hautala answers the biggest questions about the WikiLeaks claims.
Wikileaks has released a document claiming that the CIA has hacking tools designed to break into devices like phones, TVs and routers. These hacking tools allegedly include malware, viruses and zero day exploits That would let the CIA access iOS and Android smartphones, turn smart TVs into listening devices, and access Microsoft's Windows. CNET and CBS are currently unable to verify the authenticity of the WikiLeaks documents. Here are some of WikiLeaks' main CIA hacking claims, with CNet security reporter Laura Hautala breaking down what these leaks actually mean. [BLANK_AUDIO] So the CIA, according Into these claims has developed tools to hack into lots of popular smartphones, phones like Android phones and iPhones, the ones we all use. And that allows them to have the same kind of access to the smartphone that you as a user would have If you unlock it with your thumbprint or a code. And so the limits on these tools really are US surveillance law and the fact that the CIA's mandate is to spy on people outside of the United States. [MUSIC] Signal and telegram have come out and said that this is not a problem with their apps, it's a problem with the operating system. If those operating systems can be hacked, then that means that they can access all kinds of apps on the phone. [MUSIC] So sniper security experts have a lot of concerns about smart home devices because a lot of A lot of them are very easy to hack and they do have things like embedded microphones and cameras. So the fact that the CIA might have this tool to turn a smart TV into a listening device goes along with all those concerns. And it's also true that smart TV manufacturers, some in particular, have come under fire for collecting user information without their knowledge. [MUSIC] So right now with the claims unverified and the company still investigating what vulnerability they might have on their systems,it's really hard for us to know what we can do to protect ourselves. From these hacking tools, but generally it's always good to have your software updated to the most recent version of your operating system, and have all your applications upgraded too. Also, it's going to be really interesting to see what these companies come out with in terms of software patches coming forward. [MUSIC] WikiLeaks has said that this is the beginning of a series of leak about CIA hacking tools. So, you mean might be wondering how this is different from the NSA spy program through built by Edward Snowden And the answer is that those NSA programs went after information in different places, in places like company servers and the backbone of the Internet. And they swept up tons of information in huge dragnet programs. And these alleged CIA hacking tools are very targeted and they get into specific devices like cellphones and TVs, to scoop up information on a specific person. And they also get around a lot of the encryption tools that help protect that information from programs like the NFA.