Apple tries to reassure after WikiLeaks dump points to CIA hacking, plus other reaction

The day after the massive WikiLeaks document dump that calls into question the security of our tech products — the CIA supposedly can hack into our iPhones, Android, smart TVs — here’s what some of tech’s biggest companies are saying.

“While our initial analysis indicates that many of the issues leaked today were already patched in the latest iOS, we will continue work to rapidly address any identified vulnerabilities,” Apple said Tuesday in a statement to BuzzFeed. However, BuzzFeed pointed out that the details of the flaws supposedly exploited by the CIA were not included in the documents leaked by WikiLeaks, so it might be hard for Apple to determine that it has addressed all the weaknesses.

Some of the documents appear to show that the CIA set up a group to target Apple’s “i” gadgets, and were able to see the location of the devices, turn on their cameras and microphones and read their text messages, as Rex Crum wrote for the Mercury News Tuesday.

“We always urge customers to download the latest iOS to make sure they have the most recent security update,” Apple said.

Other companies say they’re looking into the matter.

“We are aware of the report in question and are urgently looking into the matter,” Samsung told several media outlets. Samsung makes Android phones and smart televisions, some of which appear to have been hacked by the CIA.

Microsoft released a similar statement. Its products, along with those made by Sony and HTC, also were affected, if the documents are true. Other tech companies that were mentioned among the thousands of leaked documents: WhatsApp, the messaging app owned by Facebook, and other encrypted messaging apps such as Signal. Security experts are cautioning against letting the news scare people away from using such apps.

Android parent Google has not returned SiliconBeat’s request for comment. The CIA also reportedly had a unit dedicated to penetrating Android phones.


Photo: Apple iPhone 7 Plus models. (Courtesy Apple)


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