CIA deployed “air-gap” jumping viruses that could infect and monitor PCs even if they weren’t connected to the internet

In the trove of information published on Tuesday by Wikileaks involving the CIA’s ability to breach smart TVs, iPhones, Android products, and other “Internet of Things” personal devices was the revelation that the agency is also able to remotely monitor devices that aren’t online.

The technique is called “air-gap jumping,” and it can be a way for the agency to spread malware or monitor devices without leaving an electronic trail.

Truly, these are scary times. (RELATED: Vault 7 Bombshell Just Vindicated Every Conspiracy Theorist: The CIA Can Spy On Anyone Through TVs, IPhones, Smart Phones And Windows PCs.)

Wikileaks, in a statement released to the press and the public, noted that the CIA’s malware targets Windows users but also those who utilize Linux and OSx:

The CIA also runs a very substantial effort to infect and control Microsoft Windows users with its malware. This includes multiple local and remote weaponized “zero days,” air gap jumping viruses such as “Hammer Drill” which infects software distributed on CD/DVDs, infectors for removable media such as USBs, systems to hide data in images or in covert disk areas (“Brutal Kangaroo”) and to keep its malware infestations going.

Many of these infection efforts are pulled together by the CIA’s Automated Implant Branch (AIB), which has developed several attack systems for automated infestation and control of CIA malware, such as “Assassin” and “Medusa”.

Attacks against Internet infrastructure and webservers are developed by the CIA’s Network Devices Branch (NDB).

The CIA has developed automated multi-platform malware attack and control systems covering Windows, Mac OS X, Solaris, Linux and more, such as EDB’s “HIVE” and the related “Cutthroat” and “Swindle” tools…

So in other words, the CIA has developed ways to infect and monitor electronically, even without having to use the Internet.

This information dovetails with recently published details regarding how smart devices like Amazon’s Echo, which are constantly “on” and therefore capturing voice data and any other information its users ‘ask’ of it. In fact, local police are even getting in on the collection of said data, so you know if that’s happening, the federal government has been doing it for some time.

The Wikileaks data dump is part of a new series of CIA-related releases code-named “Vault 7.” The first full part of the series, “Year Zero,” “comprises 8,761 documents and files from an isolated, high-security network situated inside the CIA’s Center for Cyber Intelligence in Langley, Virginia,” the Wikileaks press release noted. “It follows an introductory disclosure last month of CIA targeting French political parties and candidates in the lead up to the 2012 presidential election” (and the Alt-Left is concerned that Russia is trying to influence our elections?).

Wikileaks editor Julian Assange said one of the major concerns about the CIA’s operations is the risk of “proliferation” of its malware programs. (RELATED: New dump of CIA snooping data said to be more significant the Snowden leaks.)

“There is an extreme proliferation risk in the development of cyber ‘weapons,’” he said. “Comparisons can be drawn between the uncontrolled proliferation of such ‘weapons’, which results from the inability to contain them combined with their high market value, and the global arms trade. But the significance of ‘Year Zero’ goes well beyond the choice between cyberwar and cyberpeace. The disclosure is also exceptional from a political, legal and forensic perspective.”

The problem is that once the hacking tools are “out there,” the CIA can no longer control how they are used or by whom. So in essence, the agency is making it easier for our enemies and adversaries to develop and employ malware against the United States.

“Cyber ‘weapons’ are not possible to keep under effective control,” said the public release. “While nuclear proliferation has been restrained by the enormous costs and visible infrastructure involved in assembling enough fissile material to produce a critical nuclear mass, cyber ‘weapons’, once developed, are very hard to retain.”

J.D. Heyes is a senior writer for and, as well as editor of The National Sentinel.





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