WikiLeaks has a very troubling release of information described on their web site in the article Vault 7: CIA Hacking Tools Revealed.
The increasing sophistication of surveillance techniques has drawn comparisons with George Orwell’s 1984, but “Weeping Angel”, developed by the CIA’s Embedded Devices Branch (EDB), which infests smart TVs, transforming them into covert microphones, is surely its most emblematic realization.
The attack against Samsung smart TVs was developed in cooperation with the United Kingdom’s MI5/BTSS. After infestation, Weeping Angel places the target TV in a ‘Fake-Off’ mode, so that the owner falsely believes the TV is off when it is on. In ‘Fake-Off’ mode the TV operates as a bug, recording conversations in the room and sending them over the Internet to a covert CIA server.
I don’t own this model TV (I don’t think), but I did discover that I have had some CIA malware installed on my computers for years. I am not about to mention which tool I have, but the CIA knows I have it, I am sure. I am only half-way through reading the article, so there may be other pieces of their software that I have installed on my computers.
Just to be clear, the “mal” in malware means “bad”. I wouldn’t have installed the piece of software if I had known it was malware. I will sit tight on it until I hear from the people who supply my anti-virus software or some other credible source. As long as I have had the software, whatever damage it can do, if any, has probably already been done.
Upon a little investigation, I think I have determined my worries about a particular piece of software are ill-founded. What a relief.