The Stack Archive News Article

WikiLeaks reveals CIA tool for hacking webcams

Thu 3 Aug 2017


WikiLeaks has released a new set of documents in the CIA Vault 7 leak, outlining the ‘Dumbo’ hacking tool which allows control of webcams and microphones.

The release explains that the tool is capable of completely suspending processes on webcams and corrupting video recordings.

Dumbo’s is tasked specifically with gaining and exploiting physical access to target computers used in CIA field operations, the release notes.

According to WikiLeaks, the tool allows for the identification, control and manipulation of monitoring and detection systems, such as webcams and microphones, running the Microsoft Windows operating system.

The technology first identifies all installed devices, whether they are connected locally, wirelessly, or across wired networks.

Once Dumbo has detected all of these devices, it identifies all the related processes, which may include recording, monitoring or detection of video, audio and network streams. These operations can then be suspended by the operator.

‘By deleting or manipulating recordings the operator is aided in creating fake or destroying actual evidence of the intrusion operation,’ the release added.

Dumbo does require direct access to the target computer and is run from a USB stick. The release states that it supports 32bit Windows XP, Windows Vista, and newer versions of Windows operating system. However, 64bit Windows XP and Windows versions prior to XP are not supported.

WikiLeaks released its first batch of documents from the Vault 7 project earlier this year in March. The leaked documents totalled over 8,700.

A release leak in May detailed a CIA spyware project called ‘Athena/Hera’. The campaign used malware to act as a remote beacon and loader on a target computer, allowing the machine to be controlled remotely.

Using the Athena/Hera spyware, the CIA was able to set up and delete malicious payloads, retrieve files and data, and copy, delete and forward that information to a command server.


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