“Vault 7” is arguably the biggest leak of confidential information in recent times. Here are the details of all iOS exploits CIA used for spying purposes.
A tweet from Edward Snowden implies serious ramifications of this catastrophic revelation.
Why is this dangerous? Because until closed, any hacker can use the security hole the CIA left open to break into any iPhone in the world. https://t.co/xK0aILAdFI
— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) March 7, 2017
Table of Contents
CIA ripped off i0nic’s iOS 8 kernel exploit
As expected, CIA had a higher success rate with Android as compared to iOS. In total, CIA possessed 24 Android exploits and 14 iOS exploits.
Most of iOS exploits were ripped off from the jailbreak community or developed in collaboration with British agencies.
One exploit that stood out from the rest was i0nic’s iOS 8 exploit. CIA named the exploit stolen from Stefan Esser, a German hacker, as “ironic”. This kernel exploit could then have been utilized to break into targeted iOS devices.
For Android, they used corrupt installations files from Chrome and rooted devices with ADB command lines.
These exploits aren’t just limited to phones and tablets, they had exploits for television sets too. Weeping Angel explit puts the target TV set in a false standby mode.
The user is led to believe that his TV is switched off even when it is on. The TV then records all the conversations and remotely transmits them over to CIA’s servers.
Unprecedented Security Disaster
The American Intelligence agency also has tools to decipher encrypted conversations of messaging applications. Even though these apps may be encrypted, operating system level hacks can easily compromise the data.
They can then have access to all the data stored on your smartphone. No encryption protocol in the world can protect your privacy if your device has been compromised.
Interestingly, CIA has its own special mobile research division that is dedicated to finding 0-day exploits in popular operating systems such as Windows, Mac, etc.
Thankfully, the entire hacking arsenal of CIA is now in public domain. Google and Apple will now quickly patch all exploits and roll out updated versions.
In all, no application would be secure, not even encrypted applications such as Telegram. By compromising the entire operating systems, they could easily access your messages/chats.
On the one hand, we have 18 year old kids like George Hotz and Luca Todesco finding 0-day exploits for iOS. Considering the amount of resources and time the CIA has, this really doesn’t come as a surprise.
Always keep your device updated with the latest version.
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