WikiLeaks released a dossier, dubbed Vault 7, demonstrating how the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) gathers intelligence by spying on their perceived targets and other persons deemed “a threat” by the agency.
Vault 7 states the CIA does this by installing a spyware program on the target’s computer, home or mobile device that activates the microphone and automatically sends data to CIA control centers.
The software programs created for spying are made for various types of devices. They include smartphones and other mobile devices, smart TVs and PCs from different manufacturers.
They are all turned into microphones, according to the WikiLeaks report. More so, provided that a given device has the capability to access the internet, then it can be monitored by the particular unit.
Multiple sources report that in the past two decades, the CIA has gained pre-eminence over the National Security Agency (NSA).
For this reason, it saw an increase in the level of budgetary allocations as operations were increased to cater for various needs arising within the circle of its expanded activities.
In any country, intelligence-gathering is considered the first line of defense.
The agencies involved in the process tend to gather and share highly confidential information with other security departments, as well as the president and in some cases even policy-makers.
By doing so, consultations are carried out within senior ranks to ensure that decisions on national security are being implemented.
As is the case for the U.S. CIA, many other countries spend immense amounts of money to make sure they allocate more funds and hire more experts to handle national security needs.
WikiLeaks further states that the Center for Cyber Intelligence, which houses the government’s hacking division, comprises of more than 5,000 registered users.
More so, the hacking department has created thousands of hacking tools, viruses, malware, Trojans, etc. All of these are used to undertake their various operations across the globe.
For this reason, one would wonder if the capability of the Central Intelligence Unit exceeds what is required by law.
However, despite the creation of these hacking tools, governments and critics have pointed fingers at the U.S. intelligence community for developing tools in which they have no control over.
These are the same tools used by hackers across the globe to create viruses, ransomware Trojans, and other forms of malicious malware programs.
The severity of the matter was very high that operations in entire industries, supermarkets, nuclear reactors, government agencies, shipping companies, hospitals and several other entities had to be stalled for the matter to be sorted.
As a result, a section of entities and groups began accusing the U.S. intelligence departments for of losing control over their malware inventions.
It is important to note that if a cyber weapon is released or leaked for one reason or the other, third parties—including governments and cyber gangs—can use it for the same purpose of spying on targets and further jeopardizing plans.
What’s more is that they can be further customized to meet the desire of the person who intends to put it to use.
WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange notes that proliferation of cyber weapons is risky, and as a result poses a direct threat because in the event it is leaked, the creators will lose all control over the program.
Also, the persons in possession may choose to sell the cyber weapons over the dark web for exorbitant amounts of money.
Due to the resources available at the disposal of the agency, word has it that they are capable of creating tools that can infiltrate any device for spying purposes, and recording voice and video clips.
Depending on the type of operation, different methods need to be used to ensure the job is done.
When it comes to tracking the location of a person, then mobile devices will be more useful as they track using satellites.
For other spying practices, configuring the hacked device to act as a recorder will also yield results.
According to multiple reports, some hacking tools were leaked to the public and within a matter of time, third parties were in possession of the cyber arsenal.
Most of the release to third parties is said to have been done by insiders and ex-employees in the intelligence community.
Because of the expertise the team members possess, it is relatively easy for them to establish vulnerabilities in a given system. Consequently, they can come up with tools for a particular purpose.
It is for this reason that the CIA has among the largest coders in the world at its disposal.
In other instances, it is said that the CIA monitors activities undertaken by the department’s partners such as the NSA.
This is done by installing apps online while performing updates and configurations. Of course, the NSA will receive notifications that the update is in progress but in the real sense, more is happening in the background of their system operations.
Through the documents released by WikiLeaks, it is categorically possible to state that the agency is capable on spying on people irrespective of their engagements.
Apart from activating voice recorders, the government can also activate webcams to monitor people’s activities within the area.
After the recording is enabled on a device, whether video or audio, it is sent to the CIA for analysis.
Because of the capability of the intelligence agency, some parties are worried that they may fall victim to their tactics.
And what’s more worrying is that the tools have the effect of being used negatively in the event they reach the wrong hands.