Thursday, March 09, 2017


CIA has stolen spying techniques from Russia allowing it to carry out 'false flag' attacks which fool targets into thinking they've been hacked by the Kremlin, WikiLeaks documents reveal

By Dave Burke

Daily Mail
March 8, 2017

CIA hackers have learned how to adopt the 'fingerprints' of other intelligence services allowing them to carry out 'false flag' attacks, WikiLeaks has sensationally claimed.

The organization - which yesterday released thousands of documents revealing how intelligence services could break into phones, computers and TVs - said the CIA was able to frame foreign spies and hackers for its own operations.

The false flag allegation could be seized upon by Russia's government, which has denied reports by the FBI and CIA that it interfered with last year's presidential election to get Donald Trump elected.

WikiLeaks claims UMBRAGE, a sub-group of the CIA's Remote Development Branch, has collected in-depth data on hacking techniques used by other powers - which could include Russia and China.

In a statement on the WikiLeaks website, the Russian Federation is specifically named as one of the bodies which might have been infiltrated by American spies.

These techniques can be used, the group claims, to give the impression other parties are guilty of carrying out hacks which are in fact the work of the CIA.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has previously said he is '1,000 per cent' certain that Russia did not carry out hacking operations during the elections.

A statement from WikiLeaks likened finding hacking culprits to catching a murderer, and said 'fingerprinting' could lead investigators in the wrong direction.

It said: 'The CIA's hand crafted hacking techniques pose a problem for the agency. Each technique it has created forms a "fingerprint" that can be used by forensic investigators to attribute multiple different attacks to the same entity.

'This is analogous to finding the same distinctive knife wound on multiple separate murder victims. The unique wounding style creates suspicion that a single murderer is responsible.

'As soon one murder in the set is solved then the other murders also find likely attribution.'

The statement continued to state that the CIA has collected information on techniques used by other nations, including Russia.

It said: 'The CIA's Remote Devices Branch's UMBRAGE group collects and maintains a substantial library of attack techniques "stolen" from malware produced in other states including the Russian Federation.

'With UMBRAGE and related projects the CIA cannot only increase its total number of attack types but also misdirect attribution by leaving behind the "fingerprints" of the groups that the attack techniques were stolen from.

'UMBRAGE components cover keyloggers, password collection, webcam capture, data destruction, persistence, privilege escalation, stealth, anti-virus (PSP) avoidance and survey techniques.'

Investigators are now carrying out a massive operation to find who released the documents, with the source likely to face a long jail term if caught.

WikiLeaks claimed the latest haul, which it dubbed 'Vault 7, Year Zero', exposed the agency’s entire hacking tool kit.

It said this constituted an even bigger and more significant breach of US intelligence than the National Security Agency files leaked by analyst Edward Snowden.

Snowden, who fled to Russia in 2013 after the Justice Department announced two charges of breaching the Espionage Act of 1917, tweeted yesterday that the latest trove of files is a 'genuinely a big deal'.

Former CIA Director Mike Hayden told MSNBC he had undertaken only a cursory review of the documents, but that if they were what they were purported to be, it would amount to a 'very extensive file of the tactics, techniques, procedures, targets and other political rules' under which the CIA hacks targets.

'If it is that, it would be very, very damaging,' he said.

The CIA has refused to be drawn on whether the documents are genuine, with spokesman Jonathan Liu stating: 'We do not comment on the authenticity or content of purported intelligence documents.'

White House spokesman Sean Spicer also declined to comment.

President Donald Trump said in January that he believes Russia ordered hacks on Democrats that coincided with the presidential election.

'I think it was Russia, but I think we also get hacked by other people,' he said. 'It's not just Russia,' he argued at another point in a press conference before taking office.

China hacked 22 million accounts, he said, talking about the 2015 data breach at the Office of Personnel and Management.

Trump condemned the illegal acts but said emails involving Hillary Clinton's campaign that were published by Wikileaks revealed pertinent information.

He showed little remorse for the theft of data from the Democratic National Committee, which he said was 'totally open to being hacked' because 'they did a very poor job.'

The same month Assange has said Barack Obama was 'trying to delegitimize the Trump administration' by claiming the Russian government hacked Democrats' emails during the bitter presidential election.

Speaking with Sean Hannity on Fox News, Assange also reiterated his claims that Russia was not the source of the hacks.

He told Hannity 'with a thousand per cent' confidence that the Russian government was not responsible for emails stolen from the Democratic National Committee and John Podesta, Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman.

A month after the Presidential election, CIA Director John Brennan circulated a memo seen by US officials and said there was 'strong consensus among us on the scope, nature, and intent of Russian interference in our presidential election,' the Washington Post reported.

No comments: