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WikiLeaks’ latest disclosure of CIA cyber-tools can Blow Cover on Hacking Operations

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FILE - WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange makes a speech from the balcony of the Ecuadorian Embassy, in central London, Britain, Feb. 5, 2016. VOA
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April 1, 2017: WikiLeaks latest disclosure of CIA cyber-tools reveals a technique used by the agency to hide its digital tracks, potentially blowing the cover on hacking operations aimed at gathering intelligence on foreign targets, the media reported.

The release on Friday of the Central Intelligence Agency’s “Marble Framework” comes less than a month after the WikiLeaks disclosed a trove of files — dubbed “Vault 7” — that described the type of malware and methods the CIA uses to gain access to targets’ phones, computers and other electronic devices, The Washington Post reported.

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The material includes the secret source code of an “obfuscation” technique used by the CIA so its malware can evade detection by anti-virus systems.

The technique is used by all professional hackers, whether they work for the National Security Agency, Moscow’s FSB security agency or the Chinese military.

Since the code contains a specific algorithm — a digital fingerprint of sorts — it can now be used to identify CIA hacking operations that had previously been detected but not attributed, The Washington Post said.

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In response, CIA spokesman Dean Boyd said late Friday: “Dictators and terrorists have no better friend in the world than Julian Assange, as theirs is the only privacy he protects.”

It said “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,” The Washington Post quoted Boid as saying.

“Such disclosures not only jeopardise US personnel and operations but also equip our adversaries with tools and information to do us harm,” he added. (IANS)

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  • JCDavis

    “Dictators and terrorists have no better friend in the world than Julian Assange, as theirs is the only privacy he protects.”–CIA

    A really dumb comment from the CIA. Wikileaks is in the business of exposing the dirty laundry of governments, not in protecting privacy. And what the CIA is doing with this hacking tool is very bad. It is false flag stuff that could get us into wars and bring down our own government. The CIA if long overdue for some real oversight. And failing that, should be defunded and closed.

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USA: Everything you want to know about Security Clearance; Find out here!

A security clearance allows a person access to classified national security information or restricted areas.

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Former CIA Director John O. Brennan speaks at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, March 11, 2014. President Donald Trump revoked Brennan's security clearance Wednesday. VOA
Former CIA Director John O. Brennan speaks at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, March 11, 2014. President Donald Trump revoked Brennan's security clearance Wednesday. VOA

U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday revoked the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan. We take a look at what that means.

What is a security clearance?

A security clearance allows a person access to classified national security information or restricted areas after completion of a background check. The clearance by itself does not guarantee unlimited access. The agency seeking the clearance must determine what specific area of information the person needs to access.

What are the different levels of security clearance?

There are three levels: Confidential, secret and top secret. Security clearances don’t expire. But, top secret clearances are reinvestigated every five years, secret clearances every 10 years and confidential clearances every 15 years.

All federal agencies follow a list of 13 potential justifications for revoking or denying a clearance. VOA
All federal agencies follow a list of 13 potential justifications for revoking or denying a clearance. VOA

Who has security clearances?

According to a Government Accountability Office report released last year, about 4.2 million people had a security clearance as of 2015, they included military personnel, civil servants, and government contractors.

Why does one need a security clearance in retirement?

Retired senior intelligence officials and military officers need their security clearances in case they are called to consult on sensitive issues.

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Can the president revoke a security clearance?

Apparently. But there is no precedent for a president revoking someone’s security clearance. A security clearance is usually revoked by the agency that sought it for an employee or contractor. All federal agencies follow a list of 13 potential justifications for revoking or denying a clearance, which can include criminal acts, lack of allegiance to the United States, behavior or situation that could compromise an individual and security violations. (VOA)