The government is watching you and there may be nothing that you can do about it

The CIA is an organization shrouded in secrecy. People either like them or hate them. They have been the subject of movies, TV shows, novels and video games and yet no one is really sure what their capabilities are. They are masters at lying and manipulation while at the same time are making an attempt to learn everything that they can about everyone.

Of course the CIA is not alone in this. The KGB, MI5 and numerous other agencies around the globe do the same thing. Some of what the CIA is capable of was released by WikiLeaks and it is scary indeed what they can do.

It should be no surprise that the CIA has numerous cyber tools in its toolbelt to exploit vulnerabilities in any operating system, whether it be Linux, Windows, Apple or Unix. They are masters at finding security vulnerabilities and using malware to exploit them and are aided by other agencies like the NSA and GCHQ of Great Britain. They have cracked numerous models of Android phones as well as other devices from Samsung, HTC and Sony. They know who you called and can potentially read text messages as well as chats online. It is also believed that they are able to use the Apple iPad and iPhone to track an individual and turn on the camera and microphone. With Apple and Android being the dominant devices on the market this is a potentially huge issue.

Starting at least as early as June of 2014 the CIA was working on a way to hack into a smart TV. The Samsung F8000 was the target. They could get the TV to go to a “fake off” mode where it looked like the TV was off but it was really still on. Audio could be recorded which would be sent via the Internet to the CIA when the TV was turned back on and reconnected to the Internet. Leaked memos also indicate that they were trying to take video as well and the only thing holding that back was a limitation with the wi-fi.

Other devices that it is believed that they have hacked include cars, which can then be manipulated to conduct an assassination. If you think that keeping your computer offline and only connecting when you need to use the Internet will keep you safe from snooping then think again. The CIA is believed to have developed a method to infect these computers as well and store the information on an out of the way part of the hard drive to be transmitted the next time the computer connects.

If you think that keeping your antivirus program up to date will protect you, then think again. The CIA has found vulnerabilities to exploit in those programs as well and can attack them to make sure that their efforts remain undetected.

The CIA would of course like to have kept this secret from the world since no one likes to reveal trade secrets especially in the spy community. Any device that is connected to the Internet is potentially vulnerable though the legality of spying on average citizens is debatable. What is scary is that they are able to exploit a vulnerability, which means that as hard as companies like Apple and Google work to maintain security they still exist. This also means that those vulnerabilities also exist for others to exploit as well.

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