WikiLeaks will allow tech companies access to much more detailed information about CIA hacking techniques so they can “develop fixes” before the information is widely published, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said Thursday.
Assange spoke two days after WikiLeaks published thousands of documents it said revealed hacking tools the CIA developed to break into servers, smartphones, computers and TVs. The news conference took place at the Embassy of Ecuador in London, where Assange has been holed up since seeking asylum in 2012.
“The Central Intelligence Agency lost control of its entire cyberweapons arsenal,” Assange said. “This is an historic act of devastating incompetence to have created such an arsenal and stored it all in one place and not secured it.”
Assange said that some tech firms have reached out seeking more details about the CIA tools. He said WikiLeaks hasn’t published the details because it doesn’t want “journalists and people of the world, our sources, being hacked using these weapons.” The best way to avoid that, he said, is to give companies such as Apple, Google and Samsung access first.
“We have decided to work with them, to give them some exclusive access to some of the technical details we have, so that fixes can be pushed out,” Assange said.
Some tech giants, Google and Apple among them, said many of the apparent vulnerabilities exposed in the documents have already been patched. Most firms said they are continuing to evaluate the information.
CIA spokesman Dean Boyd declined to vouch for the integrity of the WikiLeaks material. Boyd has stressed the CIA is prohibited from conducting electronic surveillance targeting individuals in the U.S. and “does not do so.”
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SOURCE: USA Today, John Bacon