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Published On: Tue, Mar 7th, 2017

CIA’s ‘Weeping Angel’ is used to control Samsung Smart TVs with ‘Fake off’ mode, recording conversations

Wikileaks: CIA malware and hacking tools are built by EDG (Engineering Development Group), a software development group within CCI (Center for Cyber Intelligence), a department belonging to the CIA’s DDI (Directorate for Digital Innovation). The DDI is one of the five major directorates of the CIA.

The increasing sophistication of surveillance techniques has drawn comparisons with George Orwell’s 1984, but “Weeping Angel”, developed by the CIA’s Embedded Devices Branch (EDB), which infests smart TVs, transforming them into covert microphones, is surely its most emblematic realization.

The attack against Samsung smart TVs was developed in cooperation with the United Kingdom’s MI5/BTSS. After infestation, Weeping Angel places the target TV in a ‘Fake-Off’ mode, so that the owner falsely believes the TV is off when it is on. In ‘Fake-Off’ mode the TV operates as a bug, recording conversations in the room and sending them over the Internet to a covert CIA server.

Full Wikileaks presser on Vault 7 HERE

photo Gerd Altmann via pixabay

What seemed like science fiction or the ideas dreamed up a Jason Bourne film are NOW CONFIRMED and widely used.

The document dealing with Samsung televisions carries the CIA logo and is described as secret. It adds “USA/UK”. It says: “Accomplishments during joint workshop with MI5/BTSS (British Security Service) (week of June 16, 2014).”

Some key components:

Dated 2014, Weeping Angel “Added feature to periodically re-acquire alsa (audio) device while in Fake-Off mode” and can “Suppress LEDs to improve look of Fake-Off mode.”

Among the goals at the time was to ability to “Streaming audio” as well as “Video capture / Video snapshots.”

In fact, the documents outline how the TIME features on the device were used (read HERE) and even lists configurations for the Samsung F8000 model (HERE).

A source familiar with the CIA’s information security capabilities told the Guardian the leak calls into question the agency’s reliance on contractors, noting that Snowden was a source of leaks that detailed the NSA’s warrantless surveillance of US citizens, and that sloppiness of the part of another contractor may have led to exposure of more of the NSA’s tools last year.

In early 2015, Samsung appeared to acknowledge the televisions posed a risk to privacy. The fine print terms of service included with its smart TVs said that the television sets could capture background conversations, and that they could be passed on to third parties.

The company also provided a remarkably blunt warning: “Please be aware that if your spoken words include personal or other sensitive information, that information will be among the data captured and transmitted to a third party through your use of Voice Recognition.”

photo Gerd Altmann via pixabay

About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professional in 2008 on sites like Examiner and blogs: Desk of Brian, Crazed Fanboy. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) will be a licensed Assembly of God Pastor by the Spring of 2017. "Why do we do this?" I was asked and the answer is simple. "I just want the truth. I want a source of information that tells me what's going and clearly attempts to separate opinion from fact. Set aside left and right, old and young, just point to the world and say, 'Look!'" To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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