In the far distance a helicopter skimmed down between the roofs, hovered for an instant like a bluebottle, and darted away again with a curving flight. It was the police patrol, snooping into people’s windows…
Orwell, 1984, pg. 4.
Not long ago, the idea of little helicopters flying around our homes and looking in our windows would have been insane. So would the thought of Big Brother watching us through hidden lenses, or monitoring our conversations through our television’s speakers. The idea isn’t crazy anymore, it’s real. Right now. All those people with tin-foil on their heads who got locked up fifty years ago whispering sweet nothings like, ‘They’re watching us,’ ‘I can hear them in the walls,’ would all be kicking themselves, now. There are probably even a few left in their attics taking apart electronic devices with forks, looking for the stereo-typical, antiquated, bugs. Times have changed. We live in a world of integrated wireless technology. It’s in everything.
Back, you know, a few generations ago, people didn’t have a way to share information and express their opinions efficiently to a lot of people. But now they do. Right now, with social networks and other tools on the Internet, all of these 500 million people have a way to say what they’re thinking and have their voice be heard.
For a moment, lets really emphasis the word heard. It will become apparent why, soon enough.
On march 7 2017 Wikileaks released Year Zero, which is a conglomerate of many thousands of documents taken from the Central Intelligence Agency’s high security network, located inside the Centre for Cyber Intelligence, in Langley, Virgina.
The documents detail scenarios that would have had Orwell shaking in his boots, then booking the next ticket back to Catalonia, maybe even to Burma; anywhere would be less frightening than what the CIA has planned for the world.
Imagine this, it’s Friday night and you just finished searching through endless, highly educational film and TV series options on Netflix. Resigning to the fact that you ate all the ice-cream and chocolate before you could even choose something (what a hard life us Westerner’s have), feeling quite lethargic, and somewhat sorry for yourself, you scoop your ass off the couch and turn off the TV. Now here comes the fun part. While you traipse off to bed, CIA’s Embedded Devices Branch just tuned into your TV and your speakers are now microphones, picking up all your international chatter to your good friend in Syria. OK, we don’t all have friends in Syria, but you get my point. This is exactly what the CIA’s Weeping Angel is capable of doing.
Here is where the Embedded Devices Branch fits in to the overly superfluous CIA acronym map thingy:
The Weeping Angel is capable of many things, here is a list of what the CIA recommends it’s agents use it for:
- Extract browser credentials or history;
- Extract WPA/WiFi credentials;
- Insert Root CACovert Action cert to facilitate MitM of browser, remote access, or Adobe application;
- Investigate the Remote Access feature;
- Investigate any listening ports & their respective services;
- Attempt to override /etc/hosts for blocking Samsung updates without DNSDomain Name System query and iptables (referred to by SamyGo);
- Add ntpclient update calls to startup scripts to sync implant’s system time for accurate audio collection timestamps.
Now, for some bizarre reason, the Weeping Angel is best used on the Samsung F8000 Smart TV. Any sane individual would assume Samsung now have that particular gem of information inscribed into the TV’s feature list, don’t you think? Surely, something like:
- 55 inch LCD Screen.
- Upto 4K high quality definition.
- Able to be remotely hacked by the CIA.
Strangely, it doesn’t say anything of the sort on the Samsung website. Must be something to do with the idea of buying an actual Trojan Horse. I guess that kind of thing could put off a would-be consumer.
The documents released by Wikileaks relating to the Network Configuration Transitions, pose a particular problem. The problem is that any wannabe-CIA-backyard operative can now try and hack into their neighbors Samsung F8000 Smart TV using the instructions, here (Shhh, they would have found them anyway). There is no doubt what the CIA was trying to do here is something we all thought was never actually going to happen. As I said before, it was more the stuff of some Orwellian nightmare.
‘Its time to make America great again!’
Donald ‘Peeping Tom’ Trump.
So now we all know that your Samsung Trojan Horse is not going to spew Athenians into your lounge room, but it does make you wonder what else the folks at the Embedded Devices Branch are coming up with.
You guessed it. This type of over-zealous monitoring isn’t limited to the Samsung Smart TV. Lets take a look at another fantastic invention from the guys and gals at the Ministry of Privacy.
Ever hear of a Yarnball? The one your Granny might have had? Well, in the Embedded Devices Branch it has a slightly different meaning . Like Weeping Angel, it is another piece of great investigative wickedness. It’s purpose is to be remotely inserted into your Apple device to log your keystrokes (record every button you push), take photos of wherever your phone’s camera is facing, turn the speakers into audio listening devices, and copy all information, including text messages and data, remotely, in the confines of some super secret underground bullpen, where there are pictures of terrorists with darts in there foreheads taped all over the walls (I made that last part up).
The next question you may be asking yourself is, how did 8,761 highly classified documents get leaked from the ultra-secure facility at the Centre for Cyber Intelligence? Well for starters, maybe they shouldn’t have given access to over 5000 employees. Any one of these employees could have copied this data. It looks like the hunt may be bigger than Snowden. There are reports however, that the CIA contractors could be the source of the leak. But who knows what to believe in this day and age.
After all. It’s all just Newspeak.