The online whistleblower organization WikiLeaks has published thousands of pages of what it says are confidential CIA documents that expose a massive hacking program employed by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency.
The 8,771 documents, which were published by WikiLeaks Tuesday and dubbed “Year Zero” by the organization, encompass “the entire hacking capacity of the CIA.”
A spokesman for the CIA Jonathan Liu said the agency does not comment “on the authenticity of purported intelligence documents.”
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.
“"Year Zero" introduces the scope and direction of the CIA's global covert hacking program, its malware arsenal and dozens of "zero day" weaponized exploits against a wide range of U.S. and European company products, include Apple's iPhone, Google's Android and Microsoft's Windows and even Samsung TVs, which are turned into covert microphones,” WikiLeaks said.
WikiLeaks also claims 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.
The actual cyber weapons themselves weren’t included in the document dump, though WikiLeaks said it may release them at a later time, when “a consensus emerges on the technical and political nature of the CIA's program and how such 'weapons' should be analyzed, disarmed and published."
A scheduled press conference to announce the release was postponed after WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange came under attack on social media, the group said on Twitter.
NOTICE: As Mr. Assange%27s Perscipe+Facebook video stream links are under attack his video press conference will be rescheduled.— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) March 7, 2017
WikiLeaks said the source of the documents handed them over because they think a national conversation needs to be had about “whether the CIA's hacking capabilities exceed its mandated powers.”
National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin contributed to this report