Massive WikiLeaks Drop Exposes Rife CIA Hacking, Spying Scheme

News > World

  • People are silhouetted as they pose with laptops in front of a screen projected with binary code and a Central Inteligence Agency (CIA) emblem. | Photo: Reuters

Published 7 March 2017

The latest leak reveals the CIA has used “cyber weapons” to spy on people through everything from iPhones to smart TVs.

Whistleblowing organization WikiLeaks released over 8,000 documents on the CIA Tuesday. It’s the largest-ever leak of documents on the U.S. intelligence organization, and it gives insight into U.S. cyber spying amid concerns that the agency has become too powerful.

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Dubbed “Vault 7,” the drop of 8,761 documents dated from 2013 to 2016 details the “entire hacking capacity” of the agency and how it had “lost control of the majority of its hacking arsenal.”

The leak explained how the agency’s Mobile Devices Branch, MDB, developed malware attacks so that smartphones could be remotely hacked and controlled, where “infected phones can be instructed to send the CIA the user’s geolocation, audio and text communication as well as covertly activate the phone’s camera and microphone.”

Techniques developed by the CIA also allowed the collection of data before encryption was applied to popular smartphone messenger applications including WhatsApp, Signal, Telegram, Weibo and Confide.

The agency also hid its ability to hack into smartphones and televisions from manufacturers, which could be turned into “covert microphones.” One example included Samsung Smart TVs. After being infected with the “Weeping Angel,” a TV could be placed in a “Fake-Off mode” where the owner believes that the device off, but can instead record nearby conversations and send them to a covert CIA server via the internet.

The WikiLeaks drop also revealed a catalog of examples where the CIA was targeting users of other platforms including Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, Solaris and Android.

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“CIA hackers developed successful attacks against most well known anti-virus programs,” WikiLeaks said.

The U.S. consulate in Frankfurt, Germany, is also used by the CIA “as a covert base for its hackers covering Europe, the Middle East and Africa,” the report continued.

While WikiLeaks said that it would not reveal information that would identify their source, the whistleblower group did say that “the source wishes to initiate a public debate about the security, creation, use, proliferation and democratic control of cyber weapons” and was concerned about “whether the CIA’s hacking capabilities exceed its mandated powers and the problem of public oversight in the agency.”

The leak explained that if certain parts of its spying program were classified, “CIA officers could be prosecuted or dismissed for violating rules that prohibit placing classified information onto the internet,” and so the agency has made most of its cyber spying unclassified to avoid legal liability.

Edward Snowden tweeted out, “If you’re writing about the CIA/@Wikileaks story, here’s the big deal: first public evidence USG secretly paying to keep US software unsafe.”

The CIA has declined to comment on the leak.

“We do not comment on the authenticity or content of purported intelligence documents,” CIA spokesman Jonathan Liu told the Associated Press.

Tuesday’s leak comes as U.S. President Donald Trump has earlier issued an Executive Order to review the so-called “cyberwar,” but WikiLeaks said that the administration’s move “did not play a role in setting the publication date.”

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by teleSUR / mm-HG-egb


UN, EU Slam Israeli Plan to Raze Entire Palestinian Village

  • Protester holds a Palestinian flag during clashes with Israeli troops at a protest marking in the West Bank village of Bilin near Ramallah.

    Protester holds a Palestinian flag during clashes with Israeli troops at a protest marking in the West Bank village of Bilin near Ramallah. | Photo: Reuters

Published 22 February 2017
Israel plans to destroy hundreds of structures in a Palestinian Bedouin village to make way for construction of Jewish-only homes in the occupied West Bank.

United Nations officials slammed an Israeli plan to demolish an entire Bedouin village in the West Bank Wednesday to make way for settlement construction in an escalation of demolitions, saying that the vulnerable communities in question already struggle to meet minimum living standards under full Israeli occupation.

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“This is unacceptable and it must stop,” Robert Piper, U.N.’s humanitarian coordinator for the Palestinian territories, said in statement after visiting the village.

“Khan al-Ahmar is one of the most vulnerable communities in the West Bank struggling to maintain a minimum standard of living in the face of intense pressure from the Israeli authorities to move.”

At least 140 structures including a primary school are due for destruction by Israeli forces after residents of Khan al-Ahmar received demolition orders.

The village is in Area C of the occupied West Bank which falls under the full control of the Israeli Army and where many of the government-sanctioned illegal settlement are.

The destruction of Khan al-Ahmar and several Bedouin villages in the area would allow Israeli authorities to build thousands of homes for Jewish-only settlements nearby.

Area C constitutes 60 percent of the West Bank, which Palestinians hope to be part of their future state. “The developments in Khan al-Ahmar are not unique,” Piper said.

“Thousands of families live in fear of demolitions at any moment, and entire communities exist in chronic instability.

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“When schools are demolished, the right to education of Palestinian children is also threatened. This creates a coercive environment that forces certain Palestinian communities to move elsewhere. ”

Israel, which says the structures in those villages are illegally built without permits, normally avoids demolitions in Area C, according to Haaretz, because of the involvement of European, U.S. and U.N. diplomats with the local communities.

The U.N. and other rights groups in Palestine and Israel repeatedly said that building permits are almost never granted for Palestinians in Area C.

Scott Anderson, the director of U.N. Relief and Works Agency Operations in the West Bank slammed the actions by Israel against the Bedouin communities in the area, saying “many of these Palestine refugee families have already had their homes demolished several times within the last couple of years.”

The European Union missions in Palestine also issued a statement Wednesday condemning the demolition Palestinian homes which conflicts with its obligations as an occupying power under international humanitarian law, Palestinian State agency WAFA reported.

——————————————————————————————————

UN Resolutions Targeting Israel and the Palestinians

Israel is the target of at least 77 UN Resolutions
and the Palestinians are the target of 1.

Number of UN Resolutions Passed in CondemnationIsraelPalestinians0255075100

Category Israelis Palestinians
Israel 77
Palestinians 1

Aside from the core issues—refugees, Jerusalem, borders—the major themes reflected in the U.N. resolutions against Israel over the years are its unlawful attacks on its neighbors; its violations of the human rights of the Palestinians, including deportations, demolitions of homes and other collective punishments; its confiscation of Palestinian land; its establishment of illegal settlements; and its refusal to abide by the U.N. Charter and the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War.

Donald Neff

Source: United Nations Security Council resolutions passed from 1955 through 1992 were detailed in Paul Findley’s book Deliberate Deceptions (1998, pages 192-4). Resolutions passed from 1993-2013 were accessed at UN.org.

UN Resolutions Against Israel, 1955-2013

  1. Resolution 106: “…‘condemns’ Israel for Gaza raid”
  2. Resolution 111: “…‘condemns’ Israel for raid on Syria that killed fifty-six people”
  3. Resolution 127: “…‘recommends’ Israel suspend its ‘no-man’s zone’ in Jerusalem”
  4. Resolution 162: “…‘urges’ Israel to comply with UN decisions”
  5. Resolution 171: “…determines flagrant violations’ by Israel in its attack on Syria”
  6. Resolution 228: “…‘censures’ Israel for its attack on Samu in the West Bank, then under Jordanian control”
  7. Resolution 237: “…‘urges’ Israel to allow return of new 1967 Palestinian refugees”
  8. Resolution 248: “…‘condemns’ Israel for its massive attack on Karameh in Jordan”
  9. Resolution 250: “…‘calls on’ Israel to refrain from holding military parade in Jerusalem”
  10. Resolution 251: “…‘deeply deplores’ Israeli military parade in Jerusalem in defiance of Resolution 250”
  11. Resolution 252: “…‘declares invalid’ Israel’s acts to unify Jerusalem as Jewish capital”
  12. Resolution 256: “…‘condemns’ Israeli raids on Jordan as ‘flagrant violation”
  13. Resolution 259: “…‘deplores’ Israel’s refusal to accept UN mission to probe occupation”
  14. Resolution 262: “…‘condemns’ Israel for attack on Beirut airport”
  15. Resolution 265: “…‘condemns’ Israel for air attacks for Salt in Jordan”
  16. Resolution 267: “…‘censures’ Israel for administrative acts to change the status of Jerusalem”
  17. Resolution 270: “…‘condemns’ Israel for air attacks on villages in southern Lebanon”
  18. Resolution 271: “…‘condemns’ Israel’s failure to obey UN resolutions on Jerusalem”
  19. Resolution 279: “…‘demands’ withdrawal of Israeli forces from Lebanon”
  20. Resolution 280: “….‘condemns’ Israeli’s attacks against Lebanon”
  21. Resolution 285: “…‘demands’ immediate Israeli withdrawal form Lebanon”
  22. Resolution 298: “…‘deplores’ Israel’s changing of the status of Jerusalem”
  23. Resolution 313: “…‘demands’ that Israel stop attacks against Lebanon”
  24. Resolution 316: “…‘condemns’ Israel for repeated attacks on Lebanon”
  25. Resolution 317: “…‘deplores’ Israel’s refusal to release Arabs abducted in Lebanon”
  26. Resolution 332: “…‘condemns’ Israel’s repeated attacks against Lebanon”
  27. Resolution 337: “…‘condemns’ Israel for violating Lebanon’s sovereignty”
  28. Resolution 347: “…‘condemns’ Israeli attacks on Lebanon”
  29. Resolution 425: “…‘calls on’ Israel to withdraw its forces from Lebanon”
  30. Resolution 427: “…‘calls on’ Israel to complete its withdrawal from Lebanon’
  31. Resolution 444: “…‘deplores’ Israel’s lack of cooperation with UN peacekeeping forces”
  32. Resolution 446: “…‘determines’ that Israeli settlements are a ‘serious obstruction’ to peace and calls on Israel to abide by the Fourth Geneva Convention”
  33. Resolution 450: “…‘calls on’ Israel to stop attacking Lebanon”
  34. Resolution 452: “…‘calls on’ Israel to cease building settlements in occupied territories”
  35. Resolution 465: “…‘deplores’ Israel’s settlements and asks all member states not to assist Israel’s settlements program”
  36. Resolution 467: “…‘strongly deplores’ Israel’s military intervention in Lebanon”
  37. Resolution 468: “…‘calls on’ Israel to rescind illegal expulsions of two Palestinian mayors and a judge and to facilitate their return”
  38. Resolution 469: “…‘strongly deplores’ Israel’s failure to observe the council’s order not to deport Palestinians”
  39. Resolution 471: “…‘expresses deep concern’ at Israel’s failure to abide by the Fourth Geneva Convention”
  40. Resolution 476: “…‘reiterates’ that Israel’s claims to Jerusalem are ‘null and void’
  41. Resolution 478: “…‘censures (Israel) in the strongest terms’ for its claim to Jerusalem in its ‘Basic Law’
  42. Resolution 484: “…‘declares it imperative’ that Israel re-admit two deported Palestinian mayors”
  43. Resolution 487: “…‘strongly condemns’ Israel for its attack on Iraq’s nuclear facility”
  44. Resolution 497: “…‘decides’ that Israel’s annexation of Syria’s Golan Heights is ‘null and void’ and demands that Israel rescind its decision forthwith”
  45. Resolution 498: “…‘calls on’ Israel to withdraw from Lebanon”
  46. Resolution 501: “…‘calls on’ Israel to stop attacks against Lebanon and withdraw its troops”
  47. Resolution 509: “…‘demands’ that Israel withdraw its forces forthwith and unconditionally from Lebanon”
  48. Resolution 515: “…‘demands’ that Israel lift its siege of Beirut and allow food supplies to be brought in”
  49. Resolution 517: “…‘censures’ Israel for failing to obey UN resolutions and demands that Israel withdraw its forces from Lebanon”
  50. Resolution 518: “…‘demands’ that Israel cooperate fully with UN forces in Lebanon”
  51. Resolution 520: “…‘condemns’ Israel’s attack into West Beirut”
  52. Resolution 573: “…‘condemns’ Israel ‘vigorously’ for bombing Tunisia in attack on PLO headquarters
  53. Resolution 587: “…‘takes note’ of previous calls on Israel to withdraw its forces from Lebanon and urges all parties to withdraw”
  54. Resolution 592: “…‘strongly deplores’ the killing of Palestinian students at Bir Zeit University by Israeli troops”
  55. Resolution 605: “…‘strongly deplores’ Israel’s policies and practices denying the human rights of Palestinians
  56. Resolution 607: “…‘calls on’ Israel not to deport Palestinians and strongly requests it to abide by the Fourth Geneva Convention
  57. Resolution 608: “…‘deeply regrets’ that Israel has defied the United Nations and deported Palestinian civilians”
  58. Resolution 636: “…‘deeply regrets’ Israeli deportation of Palestinian civilians
  59. Resolution 641: “…‘deplores’ Israel’s continuing deportation of Palestinians
  60. Resolution 672: “…‘condemns’ Israel for violence against Palestinians at the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount
  61. Resolution 673: “…‘deplores’ Israel’s refusal to cooperate with the United Nations
  62. Resolution 681: “…‘deplores’ Israel’s resumption of the deportation of Palestinians
  63. Resolution 694: “…‘deplores’ Israel’s deportation of Palestinians and calls on it to ensure their safe and immediate return
  64. Resolution 726: “…‘strongly condemns’ Israel’s deportation of Palestinians
  65. Resolution 799: “…‘strongly condemns’ Israel’s deportation of 413 Palestinians and calls for their immediate return
  66. Resolution 904: “…‘strongly condemns’ the massacre in Hebron and its aftermath which took the lives of more than 50 Palestinian civilians and injured several hundred others”
  67. Resolution 1073: “…‘calls for’ the immediate cessation and reversal of all acts which have resulted in the aggravation of the situation, ‘calls for‘ the safety and protection of Palestinian civilians to be ensured”
  68. Resolution 1322: “…‘condemns’ acts of violence, especially the excessive use of force against Palestinians, resulting in injury and loss of human life”
  69. Resolution 1402: “…‘calls upon’ both parties to move immediately to a meaningful ceasefire; calls for the withdrawal of Israeli troops from Palestinian cities, including Ramallah”
  70. Resolution 1403: “…‘demands’ the implementation of its resolution 1402 (2002) without delay”
  71. Resolution 1405: “…‘emphasizes’ the urgency of access of medical and humanitarian organizations to the Palestinian civilian population”
  72. Resolution 1435: “…‘demands’ that Israel immediately cease measures in and around Ramallah including the destruction of Palestinian civilian and security infrastructure”
  73. Resolution 1544: “…‘calls on’ Israel to respect its obligations under international humanitarian law, and insists, in particular, on its obligation not to undertake demolition of homes contrary to that law”
  74. Resolution 1860: “…‘calls for’ an immediate, durable and fully respected ceasefire, leading to the full withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza; ‘calls for‘ the unimpeded provision and distribution throughout Gaza of humanitarian assistance, including of food, fuel and medical treatment”
  75. Resolution 1937: “…‘urges’ the Government of Israel to expedite the withdrawal of its army from northern Ghajar without further delay”
  76. Resolution 2004: “…‘urges’ the Government of Israel to expedite the withdrawal of its army from northern Ghajar without further delay”
  77. Resolution 2064: “…‘urges’ the Government of Israel to expedite the withdrawal of its army from northern Ghajar without further delay”

UN Resolutions Against the Palestinians, 1955-2013

  1. Resolution 1435: “…‘calls on’ the Palestinian Authority to meet its expressed commitment to ensure that those responsible for terrorist acts are brought to justice by it”

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