Your Samsung Smart TVs may have been turned into a CIA listening device, according to documents published by WikiLeaks yesterday.
The attack, which seems to require physical access to the TV and an infected USB drive, enables a “Fake-Off mode” that allows the microphone to be accessed remotely even after the TV has been seemingly turned off. The malware also suppresses the TV’s LED lights, removing any suspicion that the device is still active.
Weeping Angel can also reportedly extract usernames, passwords and Wi-Fi keys – allowing access to the target’s network and other connected devices.
“The tool appears to be under active development,” security researcher Matthew Hickey told Forbes. “The capabilities it boasts cannot currently capture video, according to the leaked docs. But that is a goal of the project. It can record audio but it does not stream it in real-time to the CIA. Instead it copies it off the TV as files.”
The malware called “Weeping Angel” is said to have been developed by the CIA about three years ago in collaboration with Britain’s internal spy agency MI5.
Hickey also stated that Weeping Angel may be neutralized if the target updates their TV’s firmware since the malware is designed specifically for versions below 1118. …
[But] the CIA can also use a feature known as “prevent updates” to stop a device from removing the malware. While a factory reset code can bring the TV back to its original state, most users are unlikely to closely monitor their firmware version.
Security researchers have long warned about vulnerabilities with not only Samsung TVs but with IoT (Internet of Things) devices in general.
In a 2012 Wired article, entitled, CIA Chief: We’ll Spy on You Through Your Dishwasher, then-CIA Director David Petraeus heralded emerging technologies in relation to espionage. “‘Transformational’ is an overused word, but I do believe it properly applies to these technologies,” Petraeus said, “particularly to their effect on clandestine tradecraft.”
As reported by Infowars in 2012, security firm ReVuln discovered similar issues that allowed a Samsung TV’s microphone and camera to be accessed.
“It could give an attacker the ability to access any file available on the remote device, as well as external devices (such as USB drives) connected to the TV,” Security Ledger reported at the time. “And, in an Orwellian twist, the hole could be used to access cameras and microphones attached to the Smart TVs, giving remote attacker the ability to spy on those viewing a compromised set.”
While the vast majority of smart TV users are not going to have their devices physically targeted by CIA, Samsung has admitted in its own terms of service that a user’s personal conversations can be recorded and transmitted to third parties – creating a larger attack surface for the private data.
“Please be aware that if your spoken words include personal or other sensitive information, that information will be among the data captured and transmitted to a third party through your use of Voice Recognition,” the policy stated.
An “Orwellian twist?” This story is pure Orwell. Spying on private lives by the state through TV screens as such was prophesied in his novel Nineteen Eighty-Four:
[Winston Smith] thought of the telescreen with its never-sleeping ear. They could spy upon you night and day, but if you kept our head you could still outwit them. With all their cleverness they had never mastered the secret of finding out what another human being was thinking.
Winston Smith discovers he is wrong about that. His thoughts get not only found out but changed, by torture and terror, to those the state – “Big Brother” – wants him to have. Remember the horrifying last words of the novel?
He loved Big Brother.
Who has allowed America to become a Big Brother’s state? Whose idea was it? Why?
And what are Americans going to do about it?
Where’s the outrage?
We admired General David Petraeus when he led the “surge” of American military force that subdued the chaos in Iraq.
He was the last man we would have thought of as a coward.
But now it emerges that that’s what he is: a moral coward.
As such, he is typical of Western man faced with the savage onslaught of Islam.
This is from the Daily Caller:
In an op-ed for The Washington Post published Friday, former CIA Director David Petraeus said increasing anti-Muslim rhetoric in the United States threatens to drive more “moderate” Muslims to terrorism.
For Petraeus, the rapid increase of ugly rhetoric against Muslims and Islam threatens to engulf even “moderate” Muslims.
“Ugly rhetoric”? No. Necessary outcry.
We approve of the writer’s putting the word “moderate” in quotation marks. Who are “moderate” Muslims? How do they only moderately obey sharia law – which is inseparable from Islam? Do they only half “kill the infidel”? Only partly throw homosexuals from heights to murder them? Only slightly subjugate women? Do not totally sever limbs?
The summary of Petraeus’s views goes on:
This is exactly what terror groups like al-Qaida and the Islamic State want, as it supports their vision of the world as one divided between the forces of Islam and the forces of the decadent, satanic west. These groups then seize on a sort of “clash of civilizations” rhetoric to drive recruitment and push moderate Muslims into their ranks. Muslims in the West are apparently so at risk of joining up with al-Qaida, that Petraeus thinks we need to police our own speech, so as not to offend them and face the potential consequence of a growing, violent fifth column taking shape in the West.
So we must go silent to our subjugation or our graves, and make not a peep of protest as our civilization is destroyed?
“Rather than making our country safer, they will compound the already grave terrorist danger to our citizens,” Petraeus wrote. “As ideas, they are toxic and, indeed, non-biodegradable — a kind of poison that, once released into our body politic, is not easily expunged.”
“Setting aside moral considerations …
Why? That would hand victory to them!
… those who flirt with hate speech against Muslims should realize they are playing directly into the hands of al-Qaeda and the Islamic State,” Petraeus added. “The terrorists’ explicit hope has been to try to provoke a clash of civilizations — telling Muslims that the United States is at war with them and their religion.”
They are at war with us. That is what jihad is all about. Since its earliest days, Islam’s mission has been world conquest. We should be engaging them in that war. We are mightier in military strength than they are. We could easily defeat them if we just had the will to do so.
Can Petraeus really believe that if we refrained from morally condemning Muslim terrorism and their jihad and their rhetoric against us; if we said nothing; if by our silence we submitted now to their dominance and their law – they would stop the jihad? Stop the terrorism?
Islam is winning because powerful people in the West – politicians, military commanders, churchmen, opinion formers in the media – think like that.
Will a President Trump save us? Will he stop more Muslim immigrants entering America? Will he crush ISIS as he said he will? There’s no one else we can look to.
One powerful Muslim shows how much David Petraeus’s advice is appreciated on the Muslim side. His own advice is the same – and he throws it directly at Donald Trump:
The new Muslim mayor of London has issued a warning to Donald Trump: Moderate your stance on Muslims, or they will launch more attacks against America.
Could it be because the sort of advice Petraeus is giving us serves the interests of Islam extremely well?
Hillary Clinton’s emails reveal more and more, and worse and worse, about her disregard for the security of the nation she was supposed to be serving.
From GOPUSA, by Guy Benson:
If this early January development was a bombshell, today’s revelation is a nuclear bombshell. Hillary Clinton’s improper, unsecure email server appears to have endangered national security even more than previously thought – and her excuses continue to melt away under intensifying scrutiny. [These are the] extremely serious findings from the intelligence community’s Inspector General … :
Hillary Clinton’s emails on her unsecured, homebrew server contained intelligence from the U.S. government’s most secretive and highly classified programs, according to an unclassified letter from a top inspector general to senior lawmakers. Fox News exclusively obtained the text of the unclassified letter, sent Jan. 14 from Intelligence Community Inspector General I. Charles McCullough III. It laid out the findings of a recent comprehensive review by intelligence agencies that identified “several dozen” additional classified emails — including specific intelligence known as “special access programs” (SAP). …
Intelligence from a “special access program,” or SAP, is even more sensitive than that designated as “top secret” – as were two emails identified last summer in a random sample pulled from Clinton’s private server she used as secretary of state. Access to a SAP is restricted to those with a “need-to-know” because exposure of the intelligence would likely reveal the source, putting a method of intelligence collection – or a human asset – at risk.
Currently, some 1,340 emails designated “classified” have been found on Clinton’s server, though the Democratic presidential candidate insists the information was not classified at the time. “There is absolutely no way that one could not recognize SAP material,” a former senior law enforcement with decades of experience investigating violations of SAP procedures told Fox News. “It is the most sensitive of the sensitive.”
Hillary’s campaign unsuccessfully attempted to dispute the IG’s previous determination that her woefully under-secure bootleg server contained intelligence deemed “top secret”; this is even worse. Her already-dubious and legally-irrelevant “marked classified” excuse suffers another crushing blow. More:
The [SAP] programs are created when “the vulnerability of, or threat to, specific information is exceptional,” and “the number of persons who ordinarily will have access will be reasonably small and commensurate with the objective of providing enhanced protection for the information involved,” it states. According to court documents, former CIA Director David Petraeus was prosecuted for sharing intelligence from special access programs with his biographer and mistress Paula Broadwell. At the heart of his prosecution was a non-disclosure agreement where Petraeus agreed to protect these closely held government programs, with the understanding “unauthorized disclosure, unauthorized retention or negligent handling … could cause irreparable injury to the United States or be used to advantage by a foreign nation.” Clinton signed an identical non-disclosure agreement Jan. 22, 2009.
She sure did.
And it includes this line:
As used in the Agreement [which she signed], classified information is marked or unmarked classified information.
No wonder officials inside the FBI are reportedly champing at the bit for an indictment. Her conduct makes Petraeus’ criminal but limited indiscretions look like child’s play. In case you’d forgotten, Mrs. Clinton insisted last year that no classified material whatsoever had passed through her private server. That lie, one of several, has now been disproven more than 1,300 times, and today’s news marks another devastating disclosure. America’s top diplomat trafficked in the most sensitive US intelligence secrets that exist via her private server, which she’d been explicitly and urgently warned was uniquely vulnerable to foreign penetration. This isn’t about breaking some arcane rules or fudging some statements to deflect a political headache. This is about high-level state secrets being willfully and recklessly compromised by a powerful cabinet secretary in a hair-brained scheme to protect her political ambitions. And yes, it was willful. Her inner circle knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that her email arrangement was a serious problem.
As Americans wonder whether the politicized Obama Justice Department will move forward with charges against Mrs. Clinton, one wonders whether she may come to regret uttering these words:
There should be … no individual too big to jail.
They were uttered by her in the last debate among Democratic candidates for the presidency.
One of the slogans of her campaign is: “Ready for Hillary?”
Hillary herself believes she has been ready for the White House ever since she lived in it as First Lady, and perhaps since long before that.
But it is another big house she would be advised to get ready for now. The jailhouse.
The following scene is fictitious. Any resemblance between the characters, or the events they refer to, and real people or real events, is purely coincidental.
A stretch of wasteground, deserted but for two figures approaching each other from opposite sides. No buildings in sight. No road, no passing traffic or pedestrians. Both figures, one elderly female (Hillary), one elderly male (Tom), are muffled up to the ears and have hats with brims pulled down over their faces. Both look nervously about them to make sure they’re not being followed or observed.
When they’re close to each other Tom speaks.
Tom: Hi Hillary. So what is it you need to see me urgently and secretly about?
Hillary: It’s the Benghazi thing. We managed to keep it off the front pages, but you know what happened. I got Susan to stick her neck out trying to spread the video story. Told her I’d definitely tell Barack that she was the one to have my job at State when I retire if she’d do that little thing for me. But then some people may they rot in hell let out part of the truth about what really happened, and we just didn’t manage to make the video story stick, and now the Republicans are trying to make a scandal of it.
Tom: So where do I come in?
Hillary: I told Barack we must set up an official inquiry that can take some weeks so it only comes out when we’re safely over the election, and while its going on we won’t have to answer any questions – we can say we don’t want to anticipate the findings. With luck by the time the inquiry’s finished the whole thing will be forgotten or at least seem very stale news.
Tom: And you want me to head this inquiry – right?
Hillary: It has to be you, Tom. You know the area. You know the people. You know how Barack feels about them. The same way you do.
Tom: But why the secrecy? You’ll be making a public announcement that I’ll be heading it, won’t you?
Hillary: Of course. But we have to talk about what your inquiry will find out.
Tom: I get you. Okay, tell me what you want me to hide.
Hillary: Well, its really, really important to Barack to have everyone believe he’s defeated al-Qaeda. You know?
Tom: Sure, I understand that. Though I personally always thought that bin Laden guy was a fine looking fellow. Good at what he did too. Bit of a shame that he had to go. I understand Valerie nearly got Barack to leave him be, but the navy people just wouldn’t stop pushing once they’d found out where he was and they knew they could do it.
Hillary: Thing is, the vast right wing conspiracy has found out that there may have been some al-Qaeda people among the mob who killed Chris.
Hillary: Stevens. Our ambassador to Libya.
Tom: And you want that kept that out of my findings?
Hillary: Well, it’s out now so you may not be able to. They’ve even picked up leads to our weapons transfers.
Tom: Weapons transfers?
Hillary: Yeah – guns and stuff. Stuff left over from when we supplied the rebels against Gaddafi. Stingers – whatever they are. Chris was organizing their transfer through Turkey to the rebels in Syria.
Tom: Good. I mean – bad if anyone found out about that, eh? By the way, who are these Syrian rebels, d’you know?
Hillary: Well, that could be even more embarrassing. Some of them are also al-Qaeda.
Tom: Okay. Okay. Sure. Fine.
Hillary: We don’t want that to come out in the inquiry. And certain other things that you’ll come across will have to be …. you get me?
Tom: Suppressed. Of course. So let me ask you this. What can come out in my report?
Hillary: You can find that Chris didn’t get enough protection. Everyone knows that much by now. But you mustn’t blame me or Barack. You mustn’t find his policies at fault. And Barack himself mustn’t come into it at all. Or me.
Tom: Okay. I see. Fine.
Hillary: Without actually naming names you can hold some of my underlings responsible for refusing protection. I mean, everyone knows we refused more protection when Chris asked for it so there’s no point in trying to hush that up.
Tom: You want anyone in particular named?
Hillary: No. No names. You can say that nothing anyone did is a firing offense. I mean, I might fire a few people anyway just to make it look as if I’m so angry with them that I’m ready to go beyond your recommendations. Zeal. I’ll show zeal.
Tom: And what about Chris himself? Can we put some of the blame on him?
Tom: He asked for too much?
Hillary: Er – rather he didn’t make his needs clear enough.
Tom: They might call that “blaming the victim”.
Hillary: Well don’t make too much of that. What you can make as much as you like of is the Republicans in the House not voting us enough money for the proper protection of our embassies and diplomats.
Tom: Is it true?
Hillary: True enough. There’s a grain of truth … and it’s something people will believe. Above all, keep me out of the picture. Me and Barack.
Tom: Didn’t you make a public statement that you accepted responsibility?
Hillary: Yep. I thought that was a good move. Made me sound courageous. And honest. Didn’t it?
Tom: Sure it did.
Hillary: I was rather hoping it would be enough and I wouldn’t have to do anything more.
Tom: Doesn’t the House want you to answer some questions?
Hillary: Yep. That’s bad. They’ve got film of me saying it was all because of the video when Barack and I met the coffins coming home. I even told one of the dead guys’ father that we would punish the disgusting little man who made the video. But I think I can get out of having to testify. I have important engagements abroad. A wine-tasting in Australia, as a matter of fact. And after that – well maybe I’ll fall sick or something. Bang my head and lose my memory if the worst comes to the worst. I’ll think of something.
Tom: Is there anything else you should tell me now? I mean, what other cats are already out of the bag?
Hillary: Let me see. They may make a lot of noise about us paying local militias to guard our installations.
Tom: You hired Arabs to guard them? Armed?
Hillary: Of course armed.
Tom: Trained to use arms?
Hllary: They knew how to use them. They were militants. No point in …
Tom: Hold it right there a moment. Let me get this straight. You’re saying that you hired terrorists to guard our people in Libya?
Hillary: Don’t use that word! You know Barack won’t allow it.
Tom: (Whistles) I didn’t realize he’d gone as far as that. Didn’t you tell him it would be dangerous? I mean, I know what he’s aiming at, but I thought he was better at the art of throwing dust in people’s eyes than that. I think we should suppress that.
Hillary: It’s already known.
Tom: Already known? (Whistles again)
Hillary: Stop doing that, Tom. It’s not that bad. I don’t want it to be that bad.
Tom: This ain’t gonna be easy, sister. Anything else that could be an impeachable offense? Better you tell me now …
Hillary: Well, there was a secret CIA operation going on. Taking prisoners. Interrogations.
Tom: (Taking a deep breath) I don’t know if I can do this, Hillary. An illegal operation?
Hillary: I don’t know. Honestly, Tom, I don’t know anything about that. I – I – . It wasn’t my idea. I’ll have to get Petraeus to fill you in about that.
Tom: Speaking of Petraeus – he seems to resent Susan putting the blame on the info his people gave her. He seems to be wanting to tell the truth – I mean the real truth. Out loud. In public.
Hillary: Don’t worry about him. I promise you, we’ve got him where we want him.
Tom: You have? I see. I see. But now tell me. What’s the real story why we didn’t send anyone to help them. Our people in Benghazi. Why didn’t we? Don’t worry, you know what you tell me here will go no further. But to satisfy my own curisity. After all, we could have, couldn’t we? We even got a plane from Italy to within a couple of hours from Benghazi. What happened then?
Hillary: I told them … I mean we told them … I mean, Barack said … At least, Valerie said … Jeez Tom, you expect me to know? You can ask Leon. But whatever he tells you, remember what I’m telling you now. Nothing that would be bad for Barack – or me …
Tom: So let me be clear what you want from me. Bottom line – you’re asking for a whitewash?
Hillary: Well yes, of course. But it mustn’t seem like a whitewash. You know? You must make it seem really, really tough. I want them to use words like “scathing”.
Tom: A scathing report. Yep. Sounds right.
Hillary: And make recommendations for how we should get our act together and improve the way we deal with protecting our people abroad. That sort of thing. A whole lot of recommendations. And make them sound … draconian. Make it sound as though we take the whole thing to be a teaching moment and we really want to learn from it going forward.
Hillary: Yes. But not so draconian that I can’t say I accept them. I need to say I accept them all. It will make me sound …
Tom: You’re setting me quite a challenge here.
Hillary: I know you’re up to it, Tom. Will you do it? For the cause. You know what I mean?
Tom: Okay, Hillary. I’ll do it. I’ll do my best … but you understand it might not work?
Hillary: Just do it. We’ll make it work. Me and Barack. Between the two of us we can’t fail. I’m very experienced, you know, in getting out of tight corners. And Barack is incredibly –
Both together: LUCKY.