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International Concern Grows Over WikiLeaks Revelations

  • VOA News

FILE - A man crosses the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) logo in the lobby of CIA Headquarters in Langley, Virginia.

Concern is starting to grow among foreign diplomats about WikiLeaks’ recent dump of documents that purportedly shows details of sophisticated hacking tools used by U.S. intelligence agents.

When asked about the documents Thursday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said he always tries not to bring his cell phone with him into sensitive meetings to avoid being spied on.

“At least, I succeed not to get into a bad situation," Lavrov said.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, left, shakes hands with German counterpart Sigmar Gabriel in Moscow, Russia, March 9, 2017.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, left, shakes hands with German counterpart Sigmar Gabriel in Moscow, Russia, March 9, 2017.

Lavrov was referring to allegations in the WikiLeaks documents that the Central Intelligence Agency has tools to hack into smart phones and some televisions, allowing the agency to remotely spy on people through microphones on the devices.

Lavrov also said that while Russia has been blamed for recent hacks in the U.S. based on “fingerprints” left after the attacks, the WikiLeaks documents indicate the CIA has the ability to disguise its hacks and make them look like they were committed by other state actors, including Russia.

In a statement, WikiLeaks said the CIA “lost control of the majority of its hacking arsenal.” The group said the cyber tools were disseminated among some former U.S. government hackers, one of whom gave the material to Wikileaks.

The CIA said Wednesday that WikiLeaks is hurting American security interests and helping the country’s enemies.

“[The CIA] get access to what is called handwriting, the 'fingerprints.' So when we were blamed of doing something, they presented evidence, such as the 'fingerprints' of our Russian hackers. Now it is getting known that the CIA is able to get access to such fingerprints and then probably use them,” Lavrov said.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang also expressed concern about the WikiLeaks revelations and said China “opposes all forms of hacking.”

“We urge the U.S. side to stop listening in, monitoring, stealing secrets and internet hacking against China and other countries. China will resolutely safeguard its own internet security," he said.

Earlier this week, WikiLeaks published thousands of pages of what it says are confidential CIA documents that expose “the entire hacking capacity of the CIA.”

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