WikiLeaks to Let Tech Firms Access Details on CIA Hacking Methods

Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, says tech firms will be granted access to more detailed information on CIA hacking techniques. The goal is to allow firms to develop fixes before the information is made public.

Assange’s announcement comes just days after WikiLeaks published thousands of documents that allegedly reveal the CIA’s hacking tools used to break into smartphones, servers, televisions and computers.

The WikiLeaks founder said several tech firms reached out to him to learn more about the hacking tools. Rather than publishing the details of the tools right away, Assange said tech companies like Google, Apple and Samsung will gain access to the information first to develop fixes.

“The Central Intelligence Agency lost control of its entire cyberweapons arsenal,” said Assange, speaking at the Embassy of Ecuador in London. “This is an historic act of devastating incompetence to have created such an arsenal and stored it all in one place and not secured it.”

Google and Apple said the vulnerabilities exposed by the WikiLeaks documents has already been patched. Microsoft said the issues appear to be involving problems with old technology, which have been solved with modern software systems. Still, major technology companies are continuing to evaluate the information leaked by WikiLeaks.

The CIA denies that the hacking tools exist, and stated that the agency does not spy on U.S. citizens.

WikiLeaks alleges that the CIA hacking department consists of more than 5,000 registered users. It also claims that the agency has developed over a thousand trojans, hacking systems, malware and viruses.

One official told USA Today that the FBI launched an investigation into the release of the documents. The official said the inquiry will help determine whether the leak came from inside or outside the agency. A separate review will be conducted to determine how much damage, if any, was caused by the disclosure.