CIA created fake software update system to spy on intel partners: WikiLeaks

WikiLeaks has recently revealed data regarding CIA's secret hacking project, which dates back to 2009

WikiLeaks has recently released documents which show that CIA is planning to siphon off the data through is technical liaison service from users' smartphones. The international non-profit organisation that publishes secret information found out a secret CIA project, which dates back to 2009.

CIA provides a biometric collection system to its partner agencies. A program called ExpressLane has been designed to be deployed alongside this system. Theoretically, these partners are agreeing to provide the CIA with access to specific biometric data. However, there is a chance that these agencies are actually holding out on them. ExpressLane is giving the agencies with the capability of stealing that data without anyone's knowledge.

ExpressLane covers-up as a software update. It gets delivered in-person by CIA technicians, but the documents state it clear that this program itself will remain unchanged. Instead, the program actually siphons off data from the system into a thumb drive, where agents can examine them to see if there is anything the partner system is holding back. If the partners refuse these phony updates, a hidden kill-switch inside it lets the agents shut down the entire system following a preset period of time, requiring again an "in-person" visit to restore the system.

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It's not clear as of yet as to who exactly these intel partners are. As per the claims made by the WikiLeaks, the program was primarily used against the US agencies like the FBI and Department of Homeland Security, although the targets not that clear from the documents. Also, since the CIA doesn't keep any specific biometric database, there is no way to know as to what the intelligence agency would do with any data obtained in this manner.

Still, it's a conspicuous example of the CIA using tech support in order to gain access to sensitive information. As part of their Vault 7 campaign, WikiLeaks is releasing the agency's hacking tools for quite some time now and it gives us a reminder of how sophisticated the agency's digital spycraft really is.