The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency has technology capable of infecting “factory fresh” iPhones and has been bugging the devices since at least 2008, WikiLeaks claimed Thursday.
In a statement released on its website, the whistleblowing organization said the technology developed by the CIA’s Embedded Development Branch (EDB) was designed to be physically installed onto new iPhones.
“It is likely that many CIA physical access attacks have infected the targeted organization's supply chain including by interdicting mail orders and other shipments [opening, infecting, and resending] leaving the United States or otherwise,” the statement read.
Another alleged CIA tool, exposed in the WikiLeaks release Thursday, has the ability to execute code from a USB stick while a Mac computer is still booting up, allowing a user to bypass firmware passwords and load the attack software.
Thursday’s release is the latest batch of documents published by WikiLeaks alleging to show espionage programs used by the U.S. spy agency. A previous WikiLeaks release purported to expose a massive hacking program employed by the CIA.
Among the revelations in the previous release came accusations that the CIA possesses a library of hacking malware employed by other states, including Russia, that it can use to leave behind false “fingerprints” to cover up its exploits and mislead investigators.
A spokesman for the CIA said at the time the agency does not comment “on the authenticity of purported intelligence documents.”