Wikileaks reveals the CIA’s ability to undermine Android and iOS devices to bypass encryption

Wikileaks recently released information that the US government has methods to undermine the security on iOS and Android smartphones in order to bypass encryption on popular chat services Signal, Whatsapp and Telegram. The CIA and presidential staff have yet to confirm this information, but it still puts many consumers on edge.

Most people probably take the approach of “I’m doing nothing wrong and have nothing to worry about anyways, and the US government can have my information if they want it.” Generally the government should have no reason to spy on you if you’re a good citizen, but there are millions who prefer their privacy, especially those with industry trade secrets and government information. The Wikileaks information claims the government can hack into smartphones and collect audio and text messages before encryption is applied. This is a major concern of officials if true, especially outside the US as many of them tend to use either Android or iOS smartphones.

Experts claim stockpiling these types of tools, by the CIA, makes us even more vulnerable to attacks. Notifying Google and Apple would be the right thing to do so they can patch the vulnerabilities before criminals get their hands on them, beyond the gray area the CIA works on in the background.

It also appears that Google Android operating system is much more vulnerable to hacking than Apple’s iOS. Wikileaks claimed over two dozen exploits in Android and 14 on iOS, but Apple has already released a statement claiming to have fixed most of them in its last update. While Apple has been working on keeping iOS the safest software safer, Google is just now scouring the 8,000 page document released by Wikileaks. Google has a harder time in keeping up with security issues mainly because so many manufacturers have different versions of its OS. Only 2.8% of all Android users are even using the latest OS, Nougat 7.0 and 7.1. That leaves hundreds of millions of users vulnerable to high level hacking threats whereas Apple has a much smaller user base and keeps a large majority of its user up to date.

Beyond Android and iOS, the leaks also claim the CIA’s ability to hack into Samsung smart TVs, personal Microsoft Windows accounts, Wi-Fi routers, cameras and much more.

Source – New York Times

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