The world is reacting to WikiLeaks’ disclosure of alleged CIA hacking secrets. Chinese officials accused the U.S. of “stealing secrets” while German prosecutors carried on with investigating claims about a major American cyber-spying base in Frankfurt.
Fallout from the release:
American investigators doubted the source of the leaks, which is more than 8,000 documents that WikiLeaks is claiming to be the ‘entire hacking capacity of the CIA’, foreign officials were studying what the release told about the agency’s interests outside the US. Among the devices targeted by CIA hackers are routers produced by Chinese companies Huawei and ZTE which cause the Chinese to respond forcefully
On Thursday, Geng Shuang Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said: “We urge the U.S. side to stop listening in, monitoring, stealing secrets and Internet hacking against China and other countries.”
While federal prosecutors in Germany are looking into the allegations obtained from the Wikileaks documents, that CIA ran a hacking hub out of the U.S. Consulate in Frankfurt.
A spokesman for the prosecutor’s office said: “We will initiate an investigation if we see evidence of concrete criminal acts or specific perpetrators. We’re looking at it very carefully.”
On Tuesday, Wikileaks issued a release explaining the dump where it stated that “once in Frankfurt CIA hackers can travel without further border checks to the 25 European countries that are part of the Shengen open border area, including France, Italy and Switzerland.”
This is the second time the US is involved in an alleged spying on its European ally. A former WikiLeaks release stated that in 2011the NSA eavesdropped on Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government.
One of the most shocking items in the dump was the allegation that the CIA can turn Samsung smart televisions into microphones, a technology developed in collaboration with Britain’s intelligence services. On Wednesday, Samsung addressed the issue saying it’s was “urgently looking into the matter.”
According to Wikileaks, the Tuesday release was less than 1% of the total documents it possesses.
Tuesday morning, WikiLeaks head Julian Assange gave a question-and-answer session that was streamed online. He said that the group is willing to work with the tech companies affected by the CIA. “To give them some exclusive access to some of the additional technical details we have so that fixes can be pushed out and people can be secured,” he stated.
Damage control attempts:
The CIA is currently in its third day of damage control, as well as looking for the mole that leaked the documents. On Wednesday, a CIA spokesperson issued a statement affirming that the agency’s job is “to aggressively collect foreign intelligence overseas” and that the organization was “legally prohibited from conducting electronic surveillance.”