30 Mar 2017
WikiLeaks’ DarkMatter dump brought some interesting revelations to light, most notably was the fact that the CIA has been working with Apple since 2008, a mere year after its release, to hack the iPhone.
One such example of this is the malware entitled “NightSkies,” a virus that would allow the hacker to have full control over the victimized iPhone, at the very base level, by essentially taking over the kernel.
The tool operates in the background providing upload, download, and execution capability on the device. NS is installed via physical access to the device and will wait for user activity before beaconing. When user activity is detected, NS will attempt to beacon to a preconfigured LP [listening post] to retrieve tasking, execute the instructions, and reply with the responses in one session. (CIA Documents, 2008)
The CIA has been putting Macs in compromising positions since 2005’s SeaPea malware, and the documents also brought to light 2012’s Sonic Screwdriver, which was able to turn Apple’s Thunderbolt to Ethernet adapter into a vehicle for viral transmissions.
So far, Wikileaks has been in touch with not only Apple, but Google, Microsoft, and more. The goal has been to assist these tech companies with patch releases, but so far, they have yet to comment. The CIA is not commenting on how authentic the data in the leaks is, but they did finish up their release, saying, “The American public should be deeply troubled by any Wikileaks disclosure designed to damage the intelligence community’s ability to protect America against terrorists and other adversaries. Such disclosures not only jeopardize U.S. personnel and operations but also equip our adversaries with tools and information to do us harm.”