This week Wikileaks released a dossier, titled “Vault 7,” on the CIA’s cyber-intelligence arm. All it did was confirm what we already know.
If you spend any more than 10 minutes in a computer science class, you will understand pretty quickly that no system is secure. Look around and every laptop camera will be covered, all accounts will have dual-authentication, and a vague sense of paranoia will settle in the room. Those students are learning to do exactly what they are afraid of; their learning how someone can get into any system. I know, because I am one of them.
Your average college sophomore isn’t going to be able to get into your bank account, but they could get into your email. They can find your home address. They might even be able to access your Facebook. That’s all only after a year of study.
People have been studying intrusion since the internet was invented, and they are much much smarter than the average American thinks.
No system is secure! I cannot stress this enough. Vault 7 just confirmed that the CIA can do what we always thought it could: listen with any microphone, lurk with any camera, and leave “digital fingerprints” that trace back to anyone but them. These aren’t new ideas or new things to worry about. The idea that intelligence networks have been spying on anyone and everyone has been around for almost two decades, and with good reason. Edward Snowden proved everyone’s hunch right.
These systems were vulnerable the second they came online.
If you have an iPhone, an Android, a SmartTV, an Alexa, a self-driving car,or anything with a camera, a microphone, and a connection to a network, it can be hacked. These documents show someone not even in the CIA can obtain access to you.
Privacy is more rare than gold in this kind of environment. Intelligence agencies can know everything about anyone they want, and the sad thing is there is not much we can do about it.
So what’s in the leaks? Mostly CIA strategies for system infiltration, a list of attack vectors, lists of exploits, things like that. It’s basically a shopping list for anyone trying to access your data.
The most astounding thing in the leaks is that the CIA can make a hack look like it came from anywhere, and that they strategically put operatives into tech companies to build back doors into operating systems. The problem with back doors is that anyone can use them, not just the CIA.
This is important politically because claims of Russian hacking could be pointed back to American Intelligence agencies. No one knows who you are on the internet, especially when you can fake a “digital fingerprint.” These leaks also provide the average citizen a glimpse into how little privacy from the Government they have.
Own a twitter account? The CIA has access. Even the Presidential account? Absolutely. America is becoming more tech literate and tech dependent, but the American’s data is not becoming more secure.
My advice is to start taking precautions in order to protect your privacy. Setup dual authentication on your accounts, cover your camera, block your microphone. This won’t necessarily help in the long run but it’s a start.
There’s no definitive proof that the CIA or anyone else is gathering data on every citizen, so don’t start wearing a tinfoil hat just yet.
Photo Credit: D J Shin
The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.