Suspected CIA espionage collection related to hacks in 16 countries

The suspected CIA espionage collection exposed by WikiLeaks have been related to hacking attempts on during slightest 40 targets in 16 countries, according to confidence organisation Symantec.

The collection share “close similarities” with a strategy from an espionage organisation called Longhorn, Symantec pronounced in a Monday post. Longhorn has been active given during slightest 2011, regulating Trojan programs and formerly opposite program vulnerabilities to penetrate targets.

Those targets embody governments and organizations in a financial, telecom, IT and aerospace sectors, among others, Symantec said, though disclosing specific names.

Victim computers were located in a Middle East, Europe, Asia, Africa — and during one point, even a U.S., where a CIA is barred from conducting electronic surveillance.

“On one arise a mechanism in a United States was compromised but, following infection, an uninstaller was launched within hours, that might prove this plant was putrescent unintentionally,” Symantec said. 

The CIA has declined to contend either a papers dumped by WikiLeaks are authentic. But confidence researchers think that a dumped files understanding a deleterious blow to a U.S. view organisation by exposing a tip hacking operations.

On Monday, Symantec pronounced there was “little doubt” a couple existed between Longhorn and a hacking techniques described in a dumped documents.

The confidence organisation has found Longhorn regulating 4 opposite malware tools, dual of that compare sum disclosed in a dumped files.     

For instance, a suspected CIA files report a square of malware famous as Fluxwire, and yield a changelog of dates for when new facilities were added. Those dates align with changes Symantec beheld in a Trojan program used by Longhorn that had been detected in 2015.

Another CIA record described a malware cargo selection that matched another Longhorn-deployed Trojan, that can open a backdoor in a Windows PC.

In 2014, this Trojan was used with a little-known vulnerability that can feat a Microsoft Word request to penetrate a target, Symantec said.

Some justification shows that Longhorn might date behind as distant as 2007, according to Symantec. But before to a WikiLeaks dump, a confidence organisation had usually resolved that a organisation was well-resourced, clinging to comprehension gathering, and substantially English-speaking.

WikiLeaks hasn’t expelled most of a source formula to a suspected CIA hacking tools. However, a files — that are mostly done adult of user manuals and other papers — will but assistance both confidence firms and unfamiliar governments to detect a view agency’s techniques, experts say. 

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