back to article That CIA exploit list in full: The good, the bad, and the very ugly

We're still going through the 8,761 CIA documents published on Tuesday by WikiLeaks for political mischief, although here are some of the highlights. First, though, a few general points: one, there's very little here that should shock you. The CIA is a spying organization, after all, and, yes, it spies on people. Two, unlike …

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Signal / WhatsApp "good news"

The fact that they rely on compromising the phone to get at Signal / WhatsApp should not be read to imply those are secure. More that compromising the phone is so easy with the menu of exploits at their disposal that give them access more than just Signal / WhatsApp that there's no point in compromising just one app at a time even if they can.

Also, the NSA are the codebreakers that would attack those apps via a weakness in their protocol, not the CIA. If the NSA found such a weakness, they'd use it to hoover up communication from many users, not just a few targeted ones. And they likely wouldn't tell the CIA they had such a capability, the intelligence world is rife with turf wars, despite the attempt via the creation of the department of homeland security to get them all playing nice with each other.

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Re: Signal / WhatsApp "good news"

"despite the attempt via the creation of the department of homeland security to get them all playing nice with each other."

I thought they created the DHS as a way of creating even more "Security Theatre" and duplicating FBI efforts...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Signal / WhatsApp "good news"

> The fact that they rely on compromising the phone to get at Signal / WhatsApp should not be read to imply those are secure.

Whatsapp is owned by socialist/globalist/leftie Mark Z. He provides the data openly to the US Gov. Why would they need to crack the software?

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Re: Signal / WhatsApp "good news"

Is it just me or has all this political labelling become so circular that it no long means anything.

1990s stroppy lefty me would have described Mark Z as a capitalist running dog.

Early 00s me, now-paying income tax and aspiring to be a dot-com millionaire, would have described Mark Z as a lucky bastard.

2017 me no longer knows what the fsck is right, left or whatever the hell - only that pretty much any public figure is flawed and not to be trusted. And Mark Z gives me the creeps but nowhere near as much as the Orange One.

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Re: Signal / WhatsApp "good news"

The fact that they rely on compromising the phone to get at Signal / WhatsApp should not be read to imply those are secure.

Strawman: whoever though they were? The protocols have yet to be shown to be compromisable and Signal, at least, has a fairly robust anti-tamper mechanism through the PKA. If an agency gets hold of the device then they can nearly always be compromised. To avoid that then you need hardware encryption and a password, because we know biometrics are useless, which is why more countries are making it illegal not to provide the password.

However, in terms of security for those wishing to stay under the radar, the current crop of secure messengers make this both easier to do, especially when combined with a VPN, and easier to detect when it's compromised and when a switch of device, network or means may be necessary.

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Re: Signal / WhatsApp "good news"

(Tinfoil hat version).Or that the have good relations with the company and simply ask for the data. No hack needed...

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Re: Signal / WhatsApp "good news"

Likely already said, that's growing up for you.

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Re: Signal / WhatsApp "good news"

Hey! What's wrong with Dale Winton?

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Claim drain

it was the CIA all along, Trump can now claim.

Now claim? He could always claim that. Trump has never had more than a fleeting interest in such trivial things as evidence or veracity.

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Joke

Re: Claim drain

Or reality.

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Re: Claim drain

Wonderful logic there. Trump was proved right but that's irrelevant because you think he would have said it even when wrong. Oh and Wikileaks leaking the evidence at the right time somehow means it does not count as validation of Trump. What evidence is there that Trump gets this stuff wrong?

At some point you are going to have to admit defeat in that the American people actually voted Trump into office and not the Russians.

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TRT
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Re: "Trump was proved right"

In an alternative reality, far, far away.

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FAIL

Re: Claim drain

@ Wayland: Where is the prove that Trump is right? For the phone tapping stuff, as president he could immediately release all the information regarding that investigation and he hasn't. That he hasn't tell us one of two things. Either he got caught being naughty and doesn't want that info released or far more likely, that he's trying to distract people from the Russian links/hooks in his cabinet. I always thought he was a moron. Now he is just making himself look stupid.

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Re: Claim drain

Trump was proven right?

My god, how Fox and Breitbart have rotted your brain!

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Re: Claim drain

Move along, there's nothing to see here. It's been a known fact for 40+ years that the NSA listen to all phone calls made from the USA to other countries - this is not fake news, it's old news. How Trump and his people could not know this beggars the imagination.

As for the latest Wikileaks dump - it all looks pretty accurate to me, I'd guess this was hovered up a while back and released now to buttress Trumps old news claims. I'd love to be a fly on the wall in the Kremlin, it's starting to look like any plan that they had is coming unraveled.

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Re: Claim drain

I'd guess this was hovered up a while back

There are docs dated January 2017 in there; I don't know what the most recent dates are but two months ago is pretty recent in my book.

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Holmes

Re: Claim drain - "American people actually voted Trump into office"

No they voted Clinton in, she had a million more votes than Trump. Trump was voted in by the electoral college. Boy talk about spreading FAKE NEWS.

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Re: Claim drain

James 51, there was me reading ...distract people from Russian...hookers in his cabinet... and thinking, that's where he keeps her!

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Re: Claim drain - "American people actually voted Trump into office"

I certainly have no love for Trump, but claiming "the American people voted in Clinton" because she won the popular vote is stupid. US elections don't work on popular vote, and for good reason. Everyone knew that going in, it isn't like someone changed the rules at the last second to help Trump.

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Facepalm

Re: Claim drain

Actually, 31 out of 50 States elected President Trump!

It has never been the popular vote to select the United States President.

If I remember correctly very few "Heads of State" are elected completely (or at all) by their National Popular vote.....

I am sure someone will bring up those "few" that do....

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Re: Claim drain

"If I remember correctly very few "Heads of State" are elected completely (or at all) by their National Popular vote....."

You remember wrong. Wiki helps.

Two-round system using the national popular votes is the most common type of election for Presidents.

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Angel

Re: Claim drain

@Rastor728 wrote: Actually, 31 out of 50 States elected President Trump!

It has never been the popular vote to select the United States President.

With very good reason - a popular vote system is the most vulnerable to corruption and voter fraud. The main purpose of the Electoral College system is that it is inherently designed to resist manipulation. The voters do not elect the President, the States do.

Look at California - registering to vote is basically based on the honor system. Just go online, fill out the forms, and California mails anyone, anywhere a voter registration card.

Google Dog Registered to Vote in California and look at the live dogs, dead dogs, dead cats etc. easily registered to vote in CA.

As Bill Clinton famously said, "If a system can be gamed, it will".

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Re: " US elections don't work... "

Please note that this commentator is truly pissed off with stupid merkins 'explaining' their constitution to each other. Get a life guys. Start doing something useful.

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Re: Claim drain

> it's starting to look like any plan that [the Kremlin] had is coming unraveled.

Or, if you believe a certain news outlet, it's actually progressing too fast for them:

http://www.theonion.com/article/russian-officials-scrambling-plan-delegitimize-wes-55434

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Re: Claim drain

>Just go online, fill out the forms, and California mails anyone, anywhere a voter registration card.

Not quite. Anyone can register to vote but the county elections division (at least in our county) will check them out. Same with identity -- they match signatures and they do check.

No system is 100% foolproof but the one we use locally is fairly bulletproof. I work as precinct inspector** so I've had a good bit of time to check out how things work.

(**UK readers. Elections are managed by county elections divisions. These civil servants organize elections, recruit and train poll workers and count and verify the results. Poll workers -- the front line people working at the polling stations -- are volunteers who are trained and managed by county elections 'handlers'; they're paid a nominal amount for a (very long) day's work. One detail that's weird to people from the UK is that we hold numerous elections on the same day (its mandated which day is used); these elections can be for federal, state and local offices, include ballot propositions and all sorts of other things. The result can be a very large ballot form -- no single bit of paper with an 'X'...)

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Re: Claim drain

As opposed to registering in the UK:

I needed to be on the electoral roll to get a better bank account.

Went to the municipal office, showed my EU passport (and possibly a utility bill). Nice man took my details, which were posted at the noticeboard, and as no-one objected within 2 weeks I was on for EU and local elections.

No proof that I was actually resident in the UK - there simply was/is not a system for that, as a lot of EU citizens have discovered recently when trying to get their residence rights confirmed.

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Re: Claim drain

>The main purpose of the Electoral College system is that it is inherently designed to resist manipulation.

If the Electoral College members are pledged or required to vote according to the results of their state's popular election, then I don't see how the Electoral College resists the manipulations you cite. Personally, I don't care at all who rules over my ass. It's all the same...monarch, dictator, polls rigger, or the rule of the allegedly virtuous democratic mob, and it's all immoral. Force is force and government IS force, by design and definition. "Self-rule" is inconsistent with government in any form.

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Big Brother

Like gramps used to say

If someone can imagine it, someone else is smart enough to do it.

There's a kernel of truth in every myth.

You're only paranoid until they get you.

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Re: Like gramps used to say

Close to rule 34 of the internet.

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Re: Like gramps used to say

"If someone can imagine it, someone else is dumb enough to do it."

FTFY

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Black Helicopters

Re: Like gramps used to say

Then the younger, Geek Gods, said to gramps -- let there be OpenBSD, on a laptop, with full disk encryption, OpenSSH, encryption extensively throughout the entire OS etc...Sure, gramps you don't have the skills to use it but we do !

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the message to take away is?

Computing devices of all kinds have their weak points - in some cases lots of them - despite the manufacturers trying to squash them. There are people whose job it is to find those weak spots.

As a result, those people (employed by your government) with a desire to subvert a particular computing device probably have some technique at their fingertips to do so.

caveat

In some cases those people are on your side and subverting someone else's device is in your interest. In some cases they are on your side and it's not in your interest

In some cases they are not on your side and it is in your interest

In some cases they are not on your side and it's definitely not in your interest.

Isn't life complex

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Re: the message to take away is?

despite the manufacturers trying to squash them

Or not.

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No matter how much you disagree with what they do and how they do it, you have to be impressed with what they're achieving.

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“Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.”

― George W. Bush

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Anonymous Coward

They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.”

I always thought that about Bush, nice to see that he admits harming the USA. An honest politician, howda thunk it.

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"W" is quite a decent guy, his presidency was ruined by the same bunch of idiots currently advising Trump.

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"never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country"

You hit the sweet spot of sarcasm there ... go collect your upvote from all sides!

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Eh?

This dump says nothing at all about what they're achieving. As others have pointed out, in terms of technical capability they're clearly a long, long way behind the NSA.

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Anonymous Coward

"The lesson of the years we have spent fighting terrorism since Sept. 11 is that every time we depart from our values we worsen the very problem we are trying to contain." -- Angelina Jolie, special envoy of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

IMHO, the most succinct comment ever on this mess.

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Anonymous Coward

"W" is quite a decent guy, his presidency was ruined by the same bunch of idiots currently advising Trump.

Interesting you say this. At the time, we were hard pushed to find anyone worse, which is something that Trump fixed rather comprehensively.

However, W used to be quite a decent lawyer before his presidency, and his recent appearance is also good: he looks good and talks very considered and coherently. It's almost as if they kept him on drugs during his presidency.

Maybe that's a way to address the Trump problem. It's either that or impeachment, but something is going to happen soon.

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Trollface

Re: Eh?

At least in the content captured/released by WikiLeaks they are behind, or is it "misinformation" in the "leak"?

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Anonymous Coward

Nah, the REAL ruination hit under the shit Obama. That's what having a lying toad for a president does for ya.

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Anonymous Coward

But the US elected someone worse immediately - or don't you remember Obama ?

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Obama?

The redneck brigade really can't get over the fact that for eight years their leader was a black man.

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Re: Obama?

I have always found it quite racist to think of Obama as a black man, since his mother is white. How does that work? Is black more powerful than white, genetically, so that the black traits outweigh the white? Or is it the tired, old, racist adage that "you're only white if you are "pure" white"? Any non-white ancestry means that you are not white?

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Its just another form of population farming. For years the ruling elites have targeted anyone who disagrees with them, criminal laws are just another form of imposing conformism on the population.

Theres only one monopoly, nature, so whilst they might complain about Snowdens leaks causing criminals to go underground, perhaps that is what is desired.

The best way to stick two fingers up to them, is to roll over and die, let them farm someone else stupid enough to not realise you are all set up to fail from the day you are born, because population levels dictate this.

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Anonymous Coward

I bet you're fun at parties!

I'm not saying you are wrong regards the fact the system is stacked against the majority in favour of the elite however, I just disagree we should die instead of raging against it (however futile this is).

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Anonymous Coward

The thing is, no matter how "elite" you are or how much money/power you have, the Grim Reaper WILL call for you.

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