Cipher Brief Experts: WikiLeaks Release Could Be the CIA’s Snowden

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WikiLeaks on Tuesday published what it claims to be the CIA’s hacking techniques to exploit devices such as smart phones, computers, and Internet-connected televisions for the collection of intelligence around the world. If proven to be authentic, it “will be a huge benefit to our adversaries,” says Michael Morell, the former acting director of the CIA. “They will undoubtedly change their behavior in very short order, cutting off any intelligence flow and it will take months, if not years, to get it back.” Morell notes that if confirmed, “this would be the CIA’s Chelsea Manning, this would be CIA’s Edward Snowden.”

The cache, labeled Year Zero, includes 7,818 web pages and 943 attachments allegedly from the CIA’s Center for Cyber Intelligence between the years 2013 and 2016. The publication of the alleged CIA hacking methods is claimed to be the first installment in a series of upcoming leaks called Vault 7 – promised to be “the largest intelligence publication in history,” according to WikiLeaks.

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