Three Scary Things From Vault 7

March 8th, 2017 | R. Rados

There is no question that Wikileaks' latest data dump is authentic. This is confirmed not only by the new investigation launched by the FBI into the source of the leaks, but by the admission of US officials that the documents were likely leaked by one or more CIA contractors.

Now that we know they're authentic, we can delve into how ridiculously Orwellian the CIA is and how right Infowars and Alex Jones might have been all these years. The CIA has been caught engaging in domestic spy operations on its own soil before, but revelations from this latest dump might prove the CIA is still engaging in cultural manipulation and social engineering inside the United States—among other things.

Assassination By Car

On June 18, 2013, a journalist named Michael Hastings was killed when his Mercedes crashed into a tree. A former US intelligence official, Richard A. Clarke, later said there was sufficient evidence to believe that Hastings' car was hacked. In his exact words, Clarke said, “It is consistent with a car cyber attack. There is reason to believe that intelligence agencies for major powers—including the United States—know how to remotely seize control of a car.”

All this sounds like goofy conspiratorial banter, until we learn more about Michael Hastings and what he was doing just days before he died.

The day of his death, Hastings went to a neighbour's house to borrow her Volvo because he feared driving his own car. This was according to a report in LA Weekly. The story also suggested that Hastings suffered from depression and that his behaviour became increasingly more erratic. His neighbour, Jordanna Thigpen, said that she declined to let him borrow her car and that Hastings was scared and “wanted to leave town”. The next day, she was notified of his death and broke down in tears. Before showing up at Thigpen's apartment to borrow her car, Hastings had been working on a report about the CIA and a profile on John Brennan, who was the director of the CIA at the time.

Not long before his crash, Hastings sent out an email to some colleagues at Buzzfeed in which he said he would need to “go off the radar” and that the FBI may be looking to interview him:

The Feds are interviewing my close friends and associates. Perhaps if the authorities arrive, Buzzfeed HQ, er HQ, may be wise to immediately request legal counsel before any conversations or interviews about our news gathering practices or related journalism here.” — Michael Hastings, June 17, 2013

In 2013 it was confirmed that the FBI was indeed investigating Hastings. Hastings also spent days talking about “a big story” he was working on. In an interview with Piers Morgan, Hastings' widow confirmed that he had been working on a potentially explosive story about John Brennan. Hastings also had ties to Wikileaks and allegedly contacted the organization and told them that he was being watched by the FBI. Despite claims of depression and anxious behaviour in the context of Hastings being mentally ill, he was an award winning journalist with no history of mental illness.

All of this still might sound like hokey conspiracy nonsense, but the CIA has—in fact—discussed remotely hacking vehicles along with very detailed methods about how it could be done. Wikileaks reveals that the CIA's Embedded Devices Branch sought to hack GPS systems and vehicle systems to take full control of people's cars. The discussions were uncovered in a series of meeting notes between CIA employees and contractors. Although there was no direct talk of using cars for assassinations, let alone using them to assassinate US citizens, the notes confirm what Richard A. Clarke had alleged in 2013.

The Dankest Trojans And Malware

CIA hackers were caught bragging in CIA meetings about having some of the “dankest trojans” against Microsoft Windows and other operating systems. Those dank trojans only touch the surface of what was uncovered as large scale spying using mobile devices, smartphones, televisions and game consoles against anyone and everyone.

The same Embedded Devices Branch that planned to hack vehicles also developed sophisticated malware that can hijack Samsung smart televisions, using their microphones to record and transmit conversations without detection. According to the documents, the malware developed to hijack Samsung televisions was created in cooperation with MI5, the UK's CIA equivalent.

The CIA's Mobile Devices Branch developed malware to attack smartphones and use microphones, GPS and cameras to spy on citizens and record their communications and movements. This technology can virtually hijack any Android phone on the planet without detection and bypass the encryptions of several chat applications. Much of the information is hoarded and saved for analysis at later dates. Some of the exploits for Android phones have been weaponized and referred to as “year zero”.

CIA malware also has the ability to tap into surrounding WiFi connections and collect communications remotely from any smartphone.

The CIA has also developed malware to infect Linux systems as well as malware that can infect removable devices and images. According to leaked documents, information can be hidden in image files and transferred from device to device. These malwares and trojans can open backdoors in almost any operating system and allow it to be hijacked.

Basically, these leaked documents have revealed that the CIA can hijack any device, anywhere and at any time without us knowing about it.

Meme Warfare

Internet memes have become the most shared and most influential types of information on the internet. It turns out, the CIA might eventually have a whole branch devoted to using, studying and spreading memes to influence public opinion.

Along with the leaked files came a massive cache of memes and emoticons that had been collected for analysis by the CIA. The memes included everything from smoking babies to pedobear and some well known but totally corny memes. All of this comes with the revelation that the CIA has a proposed Meme Warfare Center or MWC. The center would have an external and internal branch devoted to studying and engineering viral memes. The center would focus on “full spectrum” meme analysis and transmission. The CIA acknowledges that memes “generate and alter” opinions and ideas, making them specifically useful in military and foreign affairs.

There you have it. The CIA has the means and intentions to execute domestic and international spying and social engineering operations. At this point it would be silly to assume they haven't already engaged in any such operations on American soil, despite it being a giant constitutional no-no.