The CIA Has Been Hacking into Wi-Fi Routers for Years

The CIA Has Been Hacking into Wi-Fi Routers for Years

The CIA Has Been Hacking into Wi-Fi Routers for Years

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According to the leaked documents, it's possible to replace a wireless router or access point's firmware with the CherryBlossom firmware.

However, the Central Intelligence Agency has so far not commented on these leaked documents.

The project comes from the CIA's elite hacking unit, the Engineering Development Group. "The wireless device itself is compromized by implanting a customized Cherry Blossom firmware on it; some devices allow upgrading their firmware over a wireless link, so no physical access to the device is necessary for a successful infection".

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Wi-Fi devices used in homes, public spaces, small- and medium-sized companies as well as enterprise offices were all part of the project.

The "man-in-the-middle" style attack gives the CIA essentially unlimited access to the activity of a user connected to the hacked network-which could potentially include those who aren't the direct target of the agency.

The devices work by compromising the data stream between the user and Internet services. In fact, most of the routers don't get patched for security flaws for years, opposite to regular devices like computers and smartphones. For devices which don't allow wireless upgrades, "Wireless Upgrade Packages" are created. Tasks for a Flytrap include (among others) the scan for email addresses, chat usernames, MAC addresses and VoIP numbers in passing network traffic to trigger additional actions, the copying of the full network traffic of a Target, the redirection of a Target's browser (e.g., to Windex for browser exploitation) or the proxying of a Target's network connections.

WikiLeaks has stuck with its previous position of not releasing the source code for any of the tools mentioned in the documents, but it still serves as a slightly terrifying insight into the capabilities of the Central Intelligence Agency.

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