China Speaks Up on Obama Era Hacking
“We urge the US side to stop listening in, monitoring, stealing secrets and internet hacking against China and other countries,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said during a Thursday news conference, as cited by Reuters.
It comes after the Vault 7 publication released by WikiLeaks on Tuesday listed routers supplied by Chinese vendors Huawei and ZTE as targets of CIA hacking, along with Taiwanese supplier Zyxel.
The release reportedly reveals details of the CIA’s “global covert hacking program,” including “weaponized exploits” used in company products, including “Apple’s iPhone, Google’s Android and Microsoft’s Windows and even Samsung TVs, which are turned into covert microphones.”
A total of 8,761 documents were released in the first part of the series, with WikiLeaks assuring that only one percent of its trove was published in the first installment of Vault 7.
Beijing has long been on the receiving end of hacking allegations from the US and other countries.
In December, former Pentagon official Michael Maloof told RT that China has “entire military institutions dedicated to hacking not only proprietary information but trying to get stolen technology from US companies all the time…”
In October, a report alleged that China had hacked into US intelligence agencies and the email accounts of US officials, targeting information on nuclear weapons, FBI investigations, and war plans.
Speaking in a Facebook livestream, Assange said the leaked information originated from an isolated computer, separated from others in the network, at CIA headquarters in Virginia. He described the loss of the information as a “historic act of devastating incompetence.”
Assange questioned whether the loss of the information was known to former US President Barack Obama and current president Donald Trump before being revealed by WikiLeaks. He also questioned if the loss had been shared with companies such as Apple and Google, which were made vulnerable by it.
“WikiLeaks has a lot more information,” Assange said, adding that after considering its options the organization decided to work with the manufacturers affected by the alleged CIA surveillance to give them exclusive access to some of the leaked information.
“Once this material is effectively disarmed we will publish additional details about what has been occurring,” Assange added.