WikiLeaks: We will work with tech companies to fix CIA hacking holes

Tech companies will be offered additional technical details to help fix flaws, said Julian Assange.
Written by Steve Ranger, Global News Director

Hacker using laptop. Lots of digits on the computer screen.

WikiLeaks will give tech companies access to technical details of the security flaws in their products held in its cache of CIA files.

Earlier this week WikiLeaks published a over 8,000 documents - apparently internal CIA files - detailing the intelligence agency's hacking programmes, including a hoard of hacks and zero-day exploits targeting products from some of the world's best known tech brands including Apple, Google, Samsung and Microsoft.

Apple and Google have responded to the leaks by saying that some of the vulnerabilities listed in the documents have already been patched; Apple said it was working 'rapidly' to fix others.

In an online press conference WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has now said the organisation will offer additional tech details to tech companies to help them fix the problems.

Assange said: "Hearing these calls from some of the manufacturers, we have decided to work with them to give them some exclusive access to the additional technical details that we have so that fixes can be developed and pushed out, so people can be secured, and once this material is effectively disarmed by us, by removing critical components we will publish additional details about has been occurring."

He said: "We are going to work with some of these manufacturers that have called for it, to try and get those antidotes out there before we publish more information that could give clues to cyber-mafia or other intelligence agencies on how to do this."

But he said there were questions as to whether cyber criminals and other intelligence agencies already have that information. The CIA "weren't securing it very well so it's quite possible that numerous people could have it," he said. "Even if WikiLeaks doesn't publish any of these cyberweapons I think it is hard to stop the spread elsewhere, which might have already occurred."

The FBI and CIA have also launched an inquiry into how WikiLeaks was able to publish the documents.

Assange predicted that some flaws could be fixed rapidly while others will take more time. For some flaws the issue may be less about fixing the flaw but getting the fix to customers if they need to update software on their devices

"Only people who are aware of its can fix the problem," he said.

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