WikiLeaks Publishes News Release on CIA’s Alleged Hacking Abilities
Last week, WikiLeaks published a document detailing the CIA’s hacking tools. Entitled “Vault 7,” WikiLeaks is stating this is the first of a series called “Year Zero” with plans to release more information on how the CIA collects information on the American public. Some of the hacking capabilities in the document include exploiting the security flaws in smartphones such as iPhones, Android and Samsung TVs to spy on individuals. WikiLeaks claims the CIA can activate cameras and microphones to monitor a person’s location and private messages. In response, the CIA issued a statement that the agency is “”legally prohibited from conducting electronic surveillance targeting individuals here at home… and CIA does not do so.”
SEC Rejects Exchange-Traded Fund for Bitcoin, Cryptocurrency Plunges 14%+
Last week, Bitcoin crashed when the Securities and Exchange Commission rejected the proposal for an exchange-funded trade submitted by the Winklevoss twins. The ruling came from concerns that cryptocurrency is unregulated and open to fraudulent and manipulative acts while being unable to protect investors and the public interest. An ETF would have helped legitimize bitcoin while opening it up to new investors. With bitcoin being a newer currency, there is still a fair amount of skepticism surrounding it.
The price first dropped about 22 percent from the news but later stabilized at a 14 percent loss.
Military-Grade Encryption Apps in Demand in the Trump Era
A messaging app called “Confide” has acquired many new users, among them White House staffers who want to protect their privacy while chatting about the new administration including potential leaks. The app boasts end-to-end encryption and ephemeral messages that stay private, providing a backchannel that is free from interception. In fact, it’s been reported by Wired that press secretary Sean Spicer has requested phone checks to see what White House staff and aides have been doing on their devices, with the supervision of attorneys. However, security firm IOActive, recently notified Confide of vulnerabilities after reverse engineering the app, finding they could alter messages in transit, decrypt messages, impersonate users and more. There were 11 vulnerabilities discovered across 8,000 user records of about 1 million total users.