From RT, 7 Mar, 2017
“WikiLeaks has published what it claims is the largest ever batch of confidential documents on the CIA, revealing the breadth of the agency’s ability to hack smartphones and popular social media messaging apps such as WhatsApp.
A total of 8,761 documents have been published as part of ‘Year Zero’, the first part in a series of leaks on the agency that the whistleblower organization has dubbed ‘Vault 7.’
In a statement WikiLeaks said ‘Year Zero’ revealed details of the CIA’s “global covert hacking program,” including “weaponized exploits” used against company products including “Apple’s iPhone, Google’s Android and Microsoft’s Windows and even Samsung TVs, which are turned into covert microphones.”
According to the cache of documents released, the CIA’s Mobile Devices Branch (MDB) has developed multiple tools and systems to hack popular smart phones and remotely order them to send both location data as well as audio and text communications.
The phones’ cameras and microphones can also be remotely activated at will.
Such tools and techniques allow the CIA to hack social media platforms such as WhatsApp, Signal, Telegram, Wiebo, Confide and Cloackman before encryption can be applied, WikiLeaks claims in the statement on their website.
The time period covered in the latest leak is 2013 to 2016, according to the CIA timestamps on the documents themselves.
“The source of the information told WikiLeaks in a statement that they wish to initiate a public debate about the “security, creation, use, proliferation and democratic control of cyberweapons.”
Policy questions that should be debated in public include “whether the CIA’s hacking capabilities exceed its mandated powers and the problem of public oversight of the agency,” WikiLeaks claims the source said.” the rest is here.
It seems that this is what had prompted Wikileaks’ Vault 7 contingency plan.