Leaked documents from the CIA’s elite Engineering Development Group suggest the agency has been helping itself to wireless internet routers as part of Company operations going back years.
On Friday, ZDNet reported that documents released by WikiLeaks show how the CIA has been remotely tapping into routers in private homes and businesses with a variety of tools so as to gain access to those computer networks. Included in the “dozens of files” released by WikiLeaks are installation guides, manuals, and maps that indicate the CIA’s use of various tools for monitoring and analyzing their targets’ online activities, among other things.
According to ZDNet, which reviewed but could not authenticate the documents, the CIA had successfully created software ‘implants’ capable of gaining control in “roughly 25 different devices” from 10 manufacturers, including the popular router brands Netgear, Linksys, Belkin, D-Link, and Asus. As the tech news site pointed out, routers have been a frequent and desirable target for freelance or intelligence community hackers because they offer access to an entire network, and have historically come equipped with various security flaws.