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Who Hacked the CIA? The Hunt Is On

03-09-2017
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Wikileaks Website

Was it someone inside the CIA, a "mole," who gave nearly 9,000 pages of files about the CIA's use of hacking tools to WikiLeaks or was it possibly a foreign government? News reports indicate the likely source would be outside contractors for the CIA.

Current and former and intelligence officials, like Gen. Michael Hayden, say the leaks were harmful for national security.

"Even if the person acted out of a misplaced sense of idealism, it has created a great deal of harm and I cannot think of it in any terms other than criminal activity," he said.

Sources say whoever was responsible had to have access to one of the highly classified U.S. spy networks, such as the Joint Worldwide Internet Communication System.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer said the CIA leak was serious and different than the Russian hacking of the Democrats during the election. "There is a massive, massive difference between those two things," he said.

One of the leaked files reveals a program called "Weeping Angel," which can remotely turn a Samsung TV anywhere in the world into a secret listening device.

Will Donaldson, a security expert at NOMX, called it "a great spy utility."

"They could turn it on remotely, but it wouldn't put the power light on. So, anybody in that room would then be discussing or talking and being monitored without their knowledge or consent," he explained.

And WikiLeaks has more information it can release. Experts worry that it could include the computer code behind the spy programs, which would give everyone the ability to build the same tools the CIA already has.

Since so many of us depend on smartphones, computers and tablets so heavily, does that mean goodbye to privacy?

FBI Director James Comey basically says "yes."

"There is no such thing as absolute privacy in America," Comey told a Boston cyber security conference Wednesday. "There is no place in America outside of judicial reach."

And the WikiLeaks revelations show the CIA already has the ability to gain access to messages before they're encrypted by popular apps.

Experts say it's a reminder that anything connected to the internet has the potential to be hacked.

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