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The Hacker News - Cybersecurity News and Analysis: WikiLeaks

WikiLeaks Reveals CIA Teams Up With Tech to Collect Ideas For Malware Development

WikiLeaks Reveals CIA Teams Up With Tech to Collect Ideas For Malware Development
July 19, 2017Swati Khandelwal
As part of its ongoing Vault 7 leaks , the whistleblower organisation WikiLeaks today revealed about a CIA contractor responsible for analysing advanced malware and hacking techniques being used in the wild by cyber criminals. According to the documents leaked by WikiLeaks, Raytheon Blackbird Technologies, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) contractor, submitted nearly five such reports to CIA as part of UMBRAGE Component Library (UCL) project between November 2014 and September 2015. These reports contain brief analysis about proof-of-concept ideas and malware attack vectors — publically presented by security researchers and secretly developed by cyber espionage hacking groups. Reports submitted by Raytheon were allegedly helping CIA's Remote Development Branch (RDB) to collect ideas for developing their own advanced malware projects. It was also revealed in previous Vault 7 leaks that CIA's UMBRAGE malware development teams also borrow codes from publicly avail

How CIA Agents Covertly Steal Data From Hacked Smartphones (Without Internet)

How CIA Agents Covertly Steal Data From Hacked Smartphones (Without Internet)
July 13, 2017Swati Khandelwal
WikiLeaks has today published the 16th batch of its ongoing Vault 7 leak , this time instead of revealing new malware or hacking tool, the whistleblower organisation has unveiled how CIA operatives stealthy collect and forward stolen data from compromised smartphones. Previously we have reported about several CIA hacking tools, malware and implants used by the agency to remotely infiltrate and steal data from the targeted systems or smartphones. However, this time neither Wikileaks nor the leaked CIA manual clearly explains how the agency operatives were using this tool. But, since we have been covering every CIA leak from the very first day, we have understood a possible scenario and have illustrated how this newly revealed tool was being used. Explained: How CIA Highrise Project Works In general, the malware uses the internet connection to send stolen data after compromising a machine to the attacker-controlled server (listening posts), but in the case of smartphones,

Wikileaks Unveils CIA Implants that Steal SSH Credentials from Windows & Linux PCs

Wikileaks Unveils CIA Implants that Steal SSH Credentials from Windows & Linux PCs
July 06, 2017Swati Khandelwal
WikiLeaks has today published the 15th batch of its ongoing Vault 7 leak , this time detailing two alleged CIA implants that allowed the agency to intercept and exfiltrate SSH (Secure Shell) credentials from targeted Windows and Linux operating systems using different attack vectors. Secure Shell or SSH is a cryptographic network protocol used for remote login to machines and servers securely over an unsecured network. Dubbed BothanSpy — implant for Microsoft Windows Xshell client, and Gyrfalcon — targets the OpenSSH client on various distributions of Linux OS, including CentOS, Debian, RHEL (Red Hat), openSUSE and Ubuntu. Both implants steal user credentials for all active SSH sessions and then sends them to a CIA-controlled server. BothanSpy — Implant for Windows OS BothanSpy is installed as a Shellterm 3.x extension on the target machine and only works if Xshell is running on it with active sessions. Xshell is a powerful terminal emulator that supports SSH, SFTP,

Wikileaks Reveals CIA Malware that Hacks & Spy On Linux Computers

Wikileaks Reveals CIA Malware that Hacks & Spy On Linux Computers
June 30, 2017Swati Khandelwal
WikiLeaks has just published a new batch of the ongoing Vault 7 leak , this time detailing an alleged CIA project that allowed the agency to hack and remotely spy on computers running the Linux operating systems. Dubbed OutlawCountry , the project allows the CIA hackers to redirect all outbound network traffic on the targeted computer to CIA controlled computer systems for exfiltrate and infiltrate data. The OutlawCountry Linux hacking tool consists of a kernel module, which the CIA hackers load via shell access to the targeted system and create a hidden Netfilter table with an obscure name on a target Linux user. "The new table allows certain rules to be created using the "iptables" command. These rules take precedence over existing rules, and are only visible to an administrator if the table name is known. When the Operator removes the kernel module, the new table is also removed," CIA's leaked  user manual reads. Although the installation and persi

WikiLeaks Reveals How CIA Malware Tracks Geo-Location of its Targeted

WikiLeaks Reveals How CIA Malware Tracks Geo-Location of its Targeted
June 28, 2017Mohit Kumar
WikiLeaks has just published a new batch of the ongoing Vault 7 leak , and this time the whistleblowing website has unveiled a classified malware for that tracks geo-location of targeted PCs and laptops running the Microsoft Windows operating system. In short, the malware does it by capturing the IDs of nearby public hotspots and then matching them with the global database of public Wi-Fi hotspots' locations. Dubbed ELSA , the alleged CIA's project consists of two main elements: the processing component (Operator Terminal) and the implant (Windows Target) which is typically being deployed on a target Windows host. Here's How the CIA's ELSA Malware Works The Elsa system first installs the malware on a targeted WiFi-enabled machine using separate CIA exploits to gain persistent access on the device. The malware then uses Wi-Fi hardware of the infected computer to scan nearby visible WiFi access points (AP) and records their ESSID – stands for Extended Service Se

Brutal Kangaroo: CIA-developed Malware for Hacking Air-Gapped Networks Covertly

Brutal Kangaroo: CIA-developed Malware for Hacking Air-Gapped Networks Covertly
June 22, 2017Swati Khandelwal
WikiLeaks has published a new batch of the ongoing Vault 7 leak , this time detailing a tool suite – which is being used by the CIA for Microsoft Windows that targets "closed networks by air gap jumping using thumb drives," mainly implemented in enterprises and critical infrastructures. Air-gapped computers that are isolated from the Internet or other external networks are believed to be the most secure computers on the planet have become a regular target in recent years. Dubbed Brutal Kangaroo (v1.2.1), the tool suit was allegedly designed by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in year 2012 to infiltrate a closed network or air-gapped computer within an organization or enterprise without requiring any direct access. The previous version of Brutal Kangaroo was named as EZCheese , which was exploiting a vulnerability that was zero-day until March 2015, though the newer version was using " unknown link file vulnerability (Lachesis/RiverJack) related to the lib

Wikileaks Unveils 'Cherry Blossom' — Wireless Hacking System Used by CIA

Wikileaks Unveils 'Cherry Blossom' — Wireless Hacking System Used by CIA
June 15, 2017Swati Khandelwal
WikiLeaks has published a new batch of the ongoing Vault 7 leak , this time detailing a framework – which is being used by the CIA for monitoring the Internet activity of the targeted systems by exploiting vulnerabilities in Wi-Fi devices. Dubbed " Cherry Blossom ," the framework was allegedly designed by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) with the help of Stanford Research Institute (SRI International), an American nonprofit research institute, as part of its 'Cherry Bomb' project. Cherry Blossom is basically a remotely controllable firmware-based implant for wireless networking devices, including routers and wireless access points (APs), which exploits router vulnerabilities to gain unauthorized access and then replace firmware with custom Cherry Blossom firmware. "An implanted device [ called Flytrap ] can then be used to monitor the internet activity of and deliver software exploits to targets of interest." a leaked CIA manual  reads . "The wi

This CIA Tool Hacks Windows Computers Silently Over the Network

This CIA Tool Hacks Windows Computers Silently Over the Network
June 02, 2017Mohit Kumar
WikiLeaks has published a new batch of the ongoing Vault 7 leak , this time detailing an alleged CIA project that allowed the agency to turn Windows file servers into covert attack machines that can silently infect other computers of interest inside a targeted network. Codenamed Pandemic , the tool is a persistent implant for Microsoft Windows machines that share files with remote users on a local network. The documents leaked by the whistleblower organisation date from April 2014 to January 2015. According to WikiLeaks, Pandemic infect networks of Windows computers through the Server Message Block (SMB) file sharing protocol by replacing application code on-the-fly with a trojanized version of the software. "Pandemic is a tool which is run as kernel shellcode to install a file system filter driver," a leaked CIA manual reads. "The filter will 'replace' a target file with the given payload file when a remote user accesses the file via SMB (read-only, not w

WikiLeaks Reveals 'Athena' CIA Spying Program Targeting All Versions of Windows

WikiLeaks Reveals 'Athena' CIA Spying Program Targeting All Versions of Windows
May 19, 2017Mohit Kumar
WikiLeaks has published a new batch of the ongoing Vault 7 leak , detailing a spyware framework – which "provides remote beacon and loader capabilities on target computers" – allegedly being used by the CIA that works against every version of Microsoft's Windows operating systems, from Windows XP to Windows 10. Dubbed Athena/Hera , the spyware has been designed to take full control over the infected Windows PCs remotely, allowing the agency to perform all sorts of things on the target machine, including deleting data or uploading malicious software, and stealing data and send them to CIA server. The leak, which includes a user manual of Athena, overview of the technology, and demonstration on how to use this spyware, reveals that the program has two implications: Primary: Athena for XP to Windows 10  Secondary: Hera for Windows 8 through Windows 10 According to the whistleblower organization, Athena has the ability to allow the CIA agents to modify its co

WikiLeaks Reveals 'AfterMidnight' & 'Assassin' CIA Windows Malware Frameworks

WikiLeaks Reveals 'AfterMidnight' & 'Assassin' CIA Windows Malware Frameworks
May 15, 2017Swati Khandelwal
When the world was dealing with the threat of the self-spreading WannaCry ransomware , WikiLeaks released a new batch of CIA Vault 7 leaks , detailing two apparent CIA malware frameworks for the Microsoft Windows platform. Dubbed " AfterMidnight " and " Assassin ," both malware programs are designed to monitor and report back actions on the infected remote host computer running the Windows operating system and execute malicious actions specified by the CIA. Since March, WikiLeaks has published hundreds of thousands of documents and secret hacking tools that the group claims came from the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). This latest batch is the 8th release in the whistleblowing organization's 'Vault 7' series. 'AfterMidnight' Malware Framework According to a statement from WikiLeaks, 'AfterMidnight' allows its operators to dynamically load and execute malicious payload on a target system. The main controller of the ma

Cisco Finally Patches 0-Day Exploit Disclosed In Wikileaks-CIA Leak

Cisco Finally Patches 0-Day Exploit Disclosed In Wikileaks-CIA Leak
May 10, 2017Mohit Kumar
Cisco Systems has finally released an update for its IOS and IOS XE software to address a critical vulnerability, disclosed nearly two months back in the CIA Vault 7 leak , that affects more than 300 of its switch models. The company identified the vulnerability in its product while analyzing "Vault 7" dump — thousands of documents and files leaked by Wikileaks, claiming to detail hacking tools and tactics of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). As previously reported , the vulnerability (CVE-2017-3881) resides in the Cluster Management Protocol (CMP) — which uses Telnet or SSH to deliver signals and commands on internal networks — in Cisco IOS and Cisco IOS XE Software. The vulnerability can be exploited remotely by sending "malformed CMP-specific Telnet options while establishing a Telnet session with an affected Cisco device configured to accept Telnet connections," researchers say. The company warned users on April 10 that an exploit targeting

Wikileaks Unveils CIA's Man-in-the-Middle Attack Tool

Wikileaks Unveils CIA's Man-in-the-Middle Attack Tool
May 06, 2017Mohit Kumar
Wikileaks has published a new batch of the Vault 7 leak , detailing a man-in-the-middle (MitM) attack tool allegedly created by the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to target local networks. Since March, WikiLeaks has published thousands of documents and other secret tools that the whistleblower group claims came from the CIA. This latest batch is the 7th release in the whistleblowing organization's 'Vault 7' series. Dubbed Archimedes , the newly released CIA tool, dumped on Friday, purportedly used to attack computers inside a Local Area Network (LAN). According to the leaked documents, this MitM tool was previously named 'Fulcrum' but later was renamed to 'Archimedes' with several improvements on the previous version, like providing a way to "gracefully shutting down the tool on demand," and adding "support for a new HTTP injection method based on using a hidden iFrame." The leaked documents describe Archimede

Source Code for CIA's Tool to Track Whistleblowers Leaked by Wikileaks

Source Code for CIA’s Tool to Track Whistleblowers Leaked by Wikileaks
April 28, 2017Swati Khandelwal
Wikileaks has just published a new batch of the Vault 7 leak, exposing the documentation and source code for a CIA project known as "Scribbles." Scribbles, a.k.a. the "Snowden Stopper," is a piece of software allegedly designed to embed 'web beacon' tags into confidential documents, allowing the spying agency to track whistleblowers and foreign spies. Since March, as part of its "Vault 7" series, the Whistleblowing website has published thousands of documents and other confidential information that the whistleblower group claims came from the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The CIA itself described Scribbles as a "batch processing tool for pre-generating watermarks and inserting those watermarks into documents that are apparently being stolen by FIO (foreign intelligence officers) actors." Here's How Scribbles Tool Works: Scribbles is coded in C# programming language and generates a random watermark for each docu

Symantec Connects 40 Cyber Attacks to CIA Hacking Tools Exposed by Wikileaks

Symantec Connects 40 Cyber Attacks to CIA Hacking Tools Exposed by Wikileaks
April 10, 2017Swati Khandelwal
Security researchers have confirmed that the alleged CIA hacking tools recently exposed by WikiLeaks have been used against at least 40 governments and private organizations across 16 countries. Since March, as part of its " Vault 7 " series, Wikileaks has published over 8,761 documents and other confidential information that the whistleblower group claims came from the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Now, researchers at cybersecurity company Symantec reportedly managed to link those CIA hacking tools to numerous real cyber attacks in recent years that have been carried out against the government and private sectors across the world. Those 40 cyber attacks were conducted by Longhorn — a North American hacking group that has been active since at least 2011 and has used backdoor trojans and zero-day attacks to target government, financial, energy, telecommunications, education, aerospace, and natural resources sectors. Although the group's targets were a
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