Tech Giants To Get Access To CIA Hacking Arsenal

One of the things that I have said is that it’s not good that the WikiLeaks dump of the CIA’s hacking tools could give the bad guys a head start in terms of using these exploits to do really bad things. WikiLeaks seems to have thought of this and Julian Assange said that he’ll give first crack at seeing these exploits to the likes of Apple and Google via a press conference streamed on Periscope on Thursday that I watched.

My thoughts on this are that this is good. However, those who I will call the forces of evil don’t need the actual exploits to cause problems for the rest of us. That’s because just reading the documents and seeing what’s in them can give someone enough ideas to reverse engineer whatever the CIA did. That’s bad.

What’s worse is that even if WikiLeaks does this, it doesn’t mean that you’ll get a fix for whatever exploits the CIA has. For example, Android users have to deal with the fragmentation of that platform due to how many companies make Android phones and how many cell carriers tweak them for their networks. That means that it takes forever to get fixes out to users. If they ever appear at all. Users of iOS don’t have this problem as Apple pushes OS updates to every iDevice from 1 Infinite Loop. But they along with users of other platforms may be faced with the fact that some of the exploits that the CIA use aren’t easily or quickly fixable. Add to that the nightmare that is potentially out there for makers of IoT gear who have to rely on users to update their gear (which for the most part they don’t), which of course assumes that these companies actually will provide updates as many don’t, and you have a major problem that’s brewing.

I for one will be watching closely to see how this plays out. It may not be pretty.


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