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Most Android, Chrome Exploits Allegedly Used By CIA Already Fixed: Google

Google Android
Photo Credit: JD Hancock via flickr

Android and Chrome OS device users can breathe a sigh of relief.

Google today said many of the vulnerabilities allegedly being taken advantage of by the CIA have already been fixed.

WikiLeaks, in a massive data dump, said the American spy agency has a specialized unit dedicated to targeting Android-run Smartphones and Chrome OS devices.

Google, however, said Android and Chrome users are protected from many of the vulnerabilities, as long as their devices are running updated versions of the apps.

“As we’ve reviewed the documents, we’re confident that security updates and protections in both Chrome and Android already shield users from many of these alleged vulnerabilities,” Google director of information security and privacy Heather Adkins said in a statement to ZDNet. “Our analysis is ongoing and we will implement any further necessary protections. We’ve always made security a top priority and we continue to invest in our defenses.”

Apple already released a similar statement after WikiLeaks said iOS devices were a prime target for CIA hackers.

Apple, in a statement to Tech Crunch, said it had dealt with many of the vulnerabilities mentioned by WikiLeaks, adding that users running the newest versions of iOS are safe.

“Our products and software are designed to quickly get security updates into the hands of our customers, with nearly 80 percent of users running the latest version of our operating system,” Apple said. “While our initial analysis indicates that many of the issues leaked today were already patched in the latest iOS, we will continue work to rapidly address any identified vulnerabilities. We always urge customers to download the latest iOS to make sure they have the most recent security update.”

The CIA’s hacking tools as well as what devices have been compromised were detailed in the thousands of documents published by WikiLeaks Tuesday. One of the other allegations was that the CIA had found a way to eavesdrop via the microphones embedded in a number of Smartphones and Smart TVs.

The CIA had a lot to say about the WikiLeaks data dump, but still managed to say nothing.

“We have no comment on the authenticity of purported intelligence documents released by Wikileaks or on the status of any investigation into the source of the documents,” reads the statement on the agency’s website.

The statement then went on to explain the importance of what it does, and pointed the finger at WikiLeaks, saying its actions were harmful to the nation’s safety.

The remainder of the CIA’s statement can be read below:

CIA’s mission is to aggressively collect foreign intelligence overseas to protect America from terrorists, hostile nation states and other adversaries. It is CIA’s job to be innovative, cutting-edge, and the first line of defense in protecting this country from enemies abroad. America deserves nothing less.

It is also important to note that CIA is legally prohibited from conducting electronic surveillance targeting individuals here at home, including our fellow Americans, and CIA does not do so. CIA’s activities are subject to rigorous oversight to ensure that they comply fully with U.S. law and the Constitution.

The American public should be deeply troubled by any Wikileaks disclosure designed to damage the Intelligence Community’s ability to protect America against terrorists and other adversaries. Such disclosures not only jeopardize U.S. personnel and operations, but also equip our adversaries with tools and information to do us harm.

About the author


Jennifer Cowan

Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.