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WikiLeaks offers tech firms CIA hacking secrets

(China Daily) Updated: 2017-03-11 06:59

WASHINGTON - WikiLeaks will provide technology companies with exclusive access to CIA hacking tools that it possesses, to allow them to patch software flaws, founder Julian Assange said on Thursday.

The anti-secrecy group published documents on Tuesday describing secret CIA hacking tools and snippets of computer code. It did not publish the full programs that would be needed to actually conduct cyber exploits against phones, computers and internet-connected televisions.

"Considering what we think is the best way to proceed and hearing these calls from some of the manufacturers, we have decided to work with them to give them some exclusive access to the addition technical details that we have so that the fixes can be developed and pushed out, so people can be secure," Assange said during a news conference broadcast via Facebook Live.

Responding to his comments, CIA spokesman Jonathan Liu, said in a statement: "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 terrorists, hostile nation states and other adversaries."

It was not clear how WikiLeaks intended to cooperate with technology companies, or if they would accept his offer.

Spokespeople for Google, Apple, Microsoft and Cisco Systems, all of whose wares are subject to attacks described in the documents, did not immediately respond to requests for comment before regular business hours on the US West Coast.

But several companies have already said they are confident that their recent security updates have already accounted for the alleged flaws described in the CIA documents. Apple said in a statement on Tuesday that "many of the issues" leaked had already been patched in the latest version of its operating system.

Assange has been holed up since 2012 at Ecuadorean embassy in London, where he fled to avoid extradition to Sweden over allegations of rape, which he denies.


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