WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has accused the CIA of “devastating incompetence” and says he will provide details of the intelligence agency’s hacking tools to technology companies.
It follows the anti-secrecy group’s disclosure of documents appearing to outline secret CIA phone- and gadget-hacking devices.
Assange claims the handover of information is to allow the companies to patch software flaws.
“We have decided to work with them to give them some exclusive access to additional technical details we have so that fixes can be developed and pushed out so people can be secure,” he said in a live statement on the Internet.
NOW: Assange repeats Wikileaks’ claim that CIA “lost control of its entire cyber weapons arsenal,” an explosive charge CIA has not denied.— Peter Alexander (@PeterAlexander) March 9, 2017
In response, CIA spokesman Jonathan Liu said:
“As we’ve said previously, Julian Assange is not exactly a bastion of truth and integrity.
“Despite the efforts of Assange and his ilk, CIA continues to aggressively collect foreign intelligence overseas to protect America from terrorist, hostile nation states and other adversaries.”
Experts say the leaked documents about hacking techniques used between 2013 and 2016 appear to be authentic.
RELEASE: Vault 7 Part 1 “Year Zero”: Inside the CIA’s global hacking force https://t.co/h5wzfrReyy pic.twitter.com/N2lxyHH9jp— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) March 7, 2017
Ahead of the announcement, White House Press Secretary, Sean Spicer vowed that “ anybody who leaked classified information will be held to the highest degree of law.”
US President Donald Trump is said to be “extremely concerned” about the situation.
The data released appears to show that CIA hackers can capture not-yet-encrypted text and voice messages from devices such as iPhones and those running Android software.
American authorities say the security breach was likely undertaken by contractors and the intelligence community had been aware of it since the end of last year.