It wasn’t long ago that we told you the CIA could be spying on all of us. We learned that in a document dump from WikiLeaks that shows some of the agency’s biggest spying secrets.
Well, here we go again. More documents exposed by WikiLeaks reveals how the CIA has been hacking Apple gadgets for years.
How the CIA is hacking Apple gadgets
The previous WikiLeaks document dump warned of vulnerabilities in Apple’s iOS that allowed the CIA to hack into gadgets. Apple quickly responded, saying those flaws had been patched in its most recent operating system update and reminded users to always keep their iOS up to date.
The latest release to the public by WikiLeaks is part of its Vault 7 “Dark Matter” documentation. It shows the CIA has been developing hacking tools used to break into iPhones and MacBook computers and it’s been going on for years.
Instead of hacking into the gadget through operating system flaws, these documents suggest that malware is installed on the device before it is ever purchased. The software is installed and is then sent off to targeted users.
WikiLeaks wrote, “These documents contain several CIA projects that infect Apple Mac firmware (meaning the infection persists even if the operating system is re-installed) developed by the CIA’s Embedded Development Branch (EDB). These documents explain the techniques used by the CIA to gain ‘persistence’ on Apple Mac devices, including Macs and iPhones and demonstrate their use of EFI/UEFI and firmware malware.
“Among others, these documents reveal the ‘Sonic Screwdriver‘ project which, as explained by the CIA, is a ‘mechanism for executing code on peripheral devices while a Mac laptop or desktop is booting’ allowing an attacker to boot its attack software for example from a USB stick ‘even when a firmware password is enabled.’ The CIA’s ‘Sonic Screwdriver’ infector is stored on the modified firmware of an Apple Thunderbolt-to-Ethernet adapter.
“‘DarkSeaSkies‘ is ‘an implant that persists in the EFI firmware of an Apple MacBook Air computer’ and consists of ‘DarkMatter,’ ‘SeaPea‘ and ‘NightSkies,’ respectively EFI, kernel-space and user-space implants.”
It’s believed that the CIA physically infected Apple products of targeted organizations’ supply chains before being shipped out of the U.S. Meaning everyday U.S. citizens like you and me should not have to worry about these hacks. But it’s such a secretive process, we can’t know for sure.
Click here if you want to see WikiLeaks’ post and look through the leaked documents yourself. You might find it an interesting read.