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Wikileaks releases massive trove of CIA documents

Today Wikileaks released a massive new trove of leaks focused on the CIA's IT-based espionage capabilities . Wikileaks has named the document release Vault 7. The trove has just been released this morning, so details remain sketchy, however the included documents appear to contain detailed information related to dozens of malware tools used by the CIA's Center for Cyber Intelligence. Earlier this morning I heard an NPR report claiming that Wikileaks was redacting the source code associated with these hacking tools. I'm not sure if that is correct; I've found a few files with executable scripts included, but none of the scripts I've found so far are essentially malicious (although they were almost certainly used in the development and packaging of malware). I have found indications that Wikileaks redacted exploit files that were ready for as-is distribution. For example, the files I reviewed in the dump appear to be part of an internal wiki. I reviewed a file list

Media, "Experts", too quick to assign responsibility for DNC hacks

I'd like to tell you a story. Its a story that doesn't particularly make me look very good. It was at a point in my career where I still had a lot to learn, and like many young people I thought I was smarter than I was. But its a true story and there is an important point to it, so I'm telling it here even at the risk of looking a bit like a schmuck. To tell the story, we have to go back in time. The year was 2006. There were still movies in the theaters that didn't have a single comic book character in them. George W. Bush was still best known for destroying the middle east and not for his adorable stick-figure self-portraits. No one that worked outside of telecommunications or that didn't wallpaper their house in aluminum foil believed that the NSA was wiretapping everyone and everything. And I had just received a promotion. I was working within the primary data center of an internet service provider. The company I was working for had a tiered engineering

Reporters never open infected Wikileaks attachments

Since I've published my findings on malware in the GI Files Wikileaks file dumps and my subsequent attempts to encourage Wikileaks to label such malicious content , I've repeatedly been told by a variety of "Security Experts®" that no one will open infected attachments from email file dumps. I plan on writing a post on how assumptions about user behavior are frequently inaccurate, and how assumptions based on the behavior of Wikileaks researchers analyzing email dumps based on the typical behavior of normal email users is particularly prone to failure, but for now I'll just leave this here: Has anybody's InfoSec experts advised abt wisdom of opening WikiLeaks sound files? Are we all just downloading Russian malware like morons? — David Fahrenthold (@Fahrenthold) July 28, 2016

Fox News asked for my take on the DNC email dump

I was interviewed yesterday by Fox News science correspondent James Rogers. I was asked for my input on the distribution by Wikileaks of emails leaked from a Democratic National Committee email server earlier this month. The entire article, which includes quotes from a variety of infosec professionals, is now available here . If anyone is interested I might post my complete conversation with Rogers, where I talk in more detail about how the unlabeled distribution of email attachments from compromised email servers poses unique dangers to journalists, activists and researchers whose job involves reviewing each of those attachments. This article represents the most attention paid by US media to the significant dangers posed to Wikileaks users by the insecure review methodology in place prior to distribution of these files. Although major newspapers in Europe and the UK published my findings on malware within the GI Files, no major news outlets in the United States published those fin

Google labels wikileaks.org a dangerous website

Five days ago someone on Hacker News pointed out that Google's Safe Browsing system labeled Wikileaks.org a "dangerous site" . At some point the Google warning was rescinded, however Google continues to (accurately) point out that pages within Wikileaks.org will "install malware on visitors' computers". I've been contacted by many companies over the years who have discovered their web server was compromised after receiving a warning from Google's Safe Browsing system. What I have never seen before is Google labeling a website safe while that website continues to host malware. Has anyone else seen this before? Does anyone at Google confirm this was algorithmically determined behavior and not manual intervention on the part of Google? What possible justification could there be for labeling a website safe that hosts malware? When I first found malware in content hosted by Wikileaks last year, one of the most frequent negative responses I receiv

Wikileaks website that hosted torrent with infected files is migrated to a new domain

UPDATED: While wlstorage.net has been taken offline and is not currently being redirected elsewhere, it looks like all of that host's functionality is now being provided by https://file.wikileaks.org - mostly as a way to facilitate torrent downloads. The new host appears to require SSL, which wlstorage.net did not. The SSL issue was particularly troubling as all of the torrents available for download on wlstorage.net were created referencing the non-SSL version of the site (establishing an unencrypted client connection between the P2P client and wlstorage.net, another great way for the powers that be to identify Wikileaks users). The torrent that includes infected files, gifiles-2014.tar.bz2.torrent, remains available for download as well. As I discussed in my series of posts explaining how the Stratfor email dump hosted by Wikileaks contains malicious software , I first came across a series of infected files when I downloaded and reviewed a torrent file hosted on the Wikileaks

Cryptome publishes my Wikileaks findings

Those unfamiliar with my Wikileaks findings should read my (so far) four post series on my discover of malware within files available for download on the Wikileaks website that can, among other things, identify and track those reading infected files: 1st post  |  2nd post  |  3rd post  |  4th post   Note that my posts are lengthy and contain some technical information. If you aren't really into reading technical things you would probably prefer the summaries of my findings available in The Register or  Neue Zürcher Zeitung (for German speakers).  Because Wikileaks has refused to inform its users that the infected files are, in fact malicious, I went public with my findings. Cryptome has just published a letter with a brief explanation of the issues with the Wikileaks malware .  Cryptome is a long time advocate of government transparency, and had already been publishing leaked documents on their website for close to a decade when Wikileaks was first created. Here is

Malware discovered in the Stratfor email file dump provided by Wikileaks is not limited to torrents - curated content on the Wikileaks website also infected

Several months ago I identified malicious software contained within a torrent available for download from Wikileaks . The torrent was the most recent and most complete copy of what Wikileaks titled the "Global Intelligence Files" - a large trove of emails and attachments from defense contractor Stratfor. The story as it is widely understood is that former Lulzsec member and hacktivist Jeremy Hammond was involved in the acquisition of these files from Stratfor and provided them to Wikileaks. Among the many files included in the leak I have identified 18 that have malicious software; most of those are embedded within PDF and DOC files. Some of the attacks I discovered are old, others are less old. Only two of the 18 files are blocked from downloading using Google Chrome's malware protection service, for example. In a second post, I decompile one of these two (older) files using PE Explorer and Hex-Rays IDA to demonstrate how the file corrupts the Microsoft Connection Manage

Hector Monsegur (formerly sabu of Lulzsec) has responded to my analysis of the Wikileaks Global Intelligence Files

Some time ago I wrote two blog posts about my discovery about a series of malware-infected files within a torrent being circulated by global whistleblower organization Wikileaks. The torrent file was one of the latest versions of what Wikileaks has named the "Global Intelligence Files" - a large cache of documents obtained from the email spool of a government contractor known as Stratfor. Since my discovery I have made several attempts to contact Wikileaks: @wikileaks sorry to contact here but no other means Ive identified sec issues with most recent torrent here: https://t.co/oeBLtLgDeb — Josh Wieder (@JoshWieder) May 3, 2015 @wikileaks I have some very basic info here http://t.co/cvjY4xWuIr and here: http://t.co/74Xbmxjmy7 can provide more as needed — Josh Wieder (@JoshWieder) May 3, 2015 In addition to Twitter I have attempted to email just about every address I could find on their site (none of them work), as well as attempting to use the chat functi

Wikileaks Malware Analysis Continued

Yesterday I released a blog post in which I explained that at least one Wikileaks property, wlstorage.net, is distributing a series of malicious program s as part of a torrent file dump related to the Global Intelligence Files retrieved from Stratfor by Jeremy Hammond and several others. I am slowly going through the malicious files in order to better understand what they are attempting to do. The work primarily involves extracting Visual Basic macros and OBE structures from documents, disassembling executables that are thus scraped from the payload document. Even for files using well documented exploits, as many of these files are, this is slow-going and tedious work that I invite readers experienced in security research to contact me about to offer assistance. One such executable retrieved from the Stratfor files is gifiles-2014\gifiles\attach\151\151784_Command.com . As with the files reviewed yesterday, this was retrieved from the  gifiles-2014.tar.gz.torrent file downloaded fr

Wikileaks Global Intelligence File Dump is Loaded With Malicious Software

Click here for the second post on this topic, which includes more detailed technical information. Hector Monsegur, formerly sabu of Lulzsec, has offered his point of view on this post. Get his opinion by reading my third post on the topic. In my fourth post on this topic, I explain how malware is not limited to the Stratfor leak torrent - curated links throughout the Wikileaks.Org website allow users to download individual infected files . This series of posts is beginning to receive coverage from several newspapers around the world. German speakers should check out the story in Neue Zürcher Zeitung / New Zurich Times . For English speakers, I recommend The Register from the UK for an excellent summary of these findings . Beginning in  February 27, 2012 , the controversial news organization Wikileaks has been publishing a large and growing trove of emails from the private intelligence firm  Strategic Forecasting, Inc (more widely known as  Stratfor). The leak publication bega