Excerpt: Some days are just more interesting than others. You could almost hear the mournful wailing of spooks (the CIA kind) as WikiLeaks released thousands of documents describing sophisticated software tools used by the Central Intelligence Agency to break into smartphones, computers and even Internet-connected televisions.
The New York Times reported that the documents, at first review, appeared to be authentic. The initial release, which WikiLeaks said was only the first part of the document collection, included 7,818 web pages with 943 attachments. The entire archive of CIA material consists of several hundred million lines of computer code according to WikiLeaks.
Initial reports overstated what the technology could do, suggesting that the encryption for popular apps such as Signal and WhatsApp had been compromised. As the details become more clear, it was noted that the apps themselves were NOT compromised. Rather, if the phone was compromised, by malware for example, encryption doesn’t do you any good since the app has to decrypt the message for you to read it, thus allowing a successful attacker to read it. The real news was that both Androids and iPhones have allegedly been compromised by the CIA and allied intelligence services, meaning that apps such as Signal and WhatsApp cannot protect your privacy.