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The Everyday Devices Targeted By the CIA

The WikiLeaks documents — more than 8000 of them — detail how the CIA has ability to hack your everyday items. This includes phones, TVs, tablets, and PCs.

WikiLeaks recently revealed how the CIA has a number of tools that can allow them to hack into smartphones and smart devices, such as Internet of Things devices. A former NSA employee tweeted that this leak of the CIA’s hacking tools for smart devices could fall into the wrong hands. He said that the “security hole[s] [that] the CIA left open” could be used to break into any smartphone in the world. So, what can you do to help protect your smartphone? One way is to use Anti-Hacking to block malicious websites as you browse the web:

If you land on a web page that is trying to steal your information, Anti-Hacking will notify you that the website is unsafe and that you should not enter any personal information on the website. Doing so could lead to a phishing scam or your login credentials being stolen. If you’ve ever lost a cell phone, then you know how it feels to think that someone else could be scrolling through your photos and your private texts. Think about all of the personal information someone could find — and steal — from your devices. The following are some of the devices that have been targeted by the CIA.

Read More: How to Protect Yourself from Social Engineering Attacks

Smart TVs

You may not want to have any private conversations in any room with your Samsung TV. Weeping Angel is one attack utilized by the CIA that can target a Samsung F8000 TV. It makes the TV look as though it is off, but it is in fact able to monitor a conversation. They call it “fake off.”

The public was unaware of this “remote bug” until the WikiLeaks documents were released. Reports believe one version of the malware was eliminated with a patch. However, this specific type of malware has not been used on U.S. citizens. Further, it must be manually installed onto a smart TV by using a flash drive.

Smartphones and Tablets

Both Apple and Android smartphones and tablets were targeted. According to WikiLeaks, the CIA could collect audio or messages from smartphones and tablets through apps like WhatsApp, Signal, and Telegram by intercepting the information before it’s been encrypted.

Laptops and PCs

The CIA also specifically targeted Microsoft’s Windows operating system. They gained access to a system by spreading malware through CDs and flash drives.

WikiLeaks revealed that the CIA didn’t inform tech companies like Google and Microsoft of security vulnerabilities in various devices in order to continue with their experimentation and probes. Their failure to privately disclose crucial vulnerabilities allowed citizens’ devices to remain less secure.

Since the leaks, the tech companies have been looking into the vulnerabilities in order to fix any issues. But don’t just count on tech companies to keep your information secure, remember to install the necessary protection like DFNDR’s Anti-Hacking. Stay aware of developments through reliable news sources as well — keeping informed gives you control over your personal data.