A total of 8,761 documents have been published as part of ‘Year Zero’, the first in a series of leaks the whistleblower organization has dubbed ‘Vault 7.’ WikiLeaks said that ‘Year Zero’ revealed details of the CIA’s “global covert hacking program,” including “weaponized exploits” used against company products including “Apple’s iPhone, Google’s Android and Microsoft’s Windows and even Samsung TVs, which are turned into covert microphones.”
WikiLeaks tweeted the leak, which it claims came from a network inside the CIA’s Center for Cyber Intelligence in Langley, Virginia.
Among the more notable disclosures which, if confirmed, “would rock the technology world“, the CIA had managed to bypass encryption on popular phone and messaging services such as Signal, WhatsApp and Telegram. According to the statement from WikiLeaks, government hackers can penetrate Android phones and collect “audio and message traffic before encryption is applied.”
Another profound revelation is that the CIA can engage in “false flag” cyberattacks which portray Russia as the assailant. Discussing the CIA’s Remote Devices Branch’s UMBRAGE group, Wikileaks’ source notes that it “collects and maintains a substantial library of attack techniques ‘stolen’ from malware produced in other states including the Russian Federation.
“With UMBRAGE and related projects the CIA cannot only increase its total number of attack types but also misdirect attribution by leaving behind the “fingerprints” of the groups that the attack techniques were stolen from. UMBRAGE components cover keyloggers, password collection, webcam capture, data destruction, persistence, privilege escalation, stealth, anti-virus (PSP) avoidance and survey techniques.”
Key Highlights from the Vault 7 release so far:
- “Year Zero” introduces the scope and direction of the CIA’s global covert hacking program, its malware arsenal and dozens of “zero day” weaponized exploits against a wide range of U.S. and European company products, include Apple’s iPhone, Google’s Android and Microsoft’s Windows and even Samsung TVs, which are turned into covert microphones.
- Wikileaks claims that the CIA lost control of the majority of its hacking arsenal including malware, viruses, trojans, weaponized “zero day” exploits, malware remote control systems and associated documentation. This extraordinary collection, which amounts to more than several hundred million lines of code, gives its possessor the entire hacking capacity of the CIA. The archive appears to have been circulated among former U.S. government hackers and contractors in an unauthorized manner, one of whom has provided WikiLeaks with portions of the archive.
- By the end of 2016, the CIA’s hacking division, which formally falls under the agency’s Center for Cyber Intelligence (CCI), had over 5000 registered users and had produced more than a thousand hacking systems, trojans, viruses, and other “weaponized” malware. Such is the scale of the CIA’s undertaking that by 2016, its hackers had utilized more code than that used to run Facebook.
- The CIA had created, in effect, its “own NSA” with even less accountability and without publicly answering the question as to whether such a massive budgetary spend on duplicating the capacities of a rival agency could be justified.
- Once a single cyber ‘weapon’ is ‘loose’ it can spread around the world in seconds, to be used by rival states, cyber mafia and teenage hackers alike.
- In a statement to WikiLeaks the source details policy questions that they say urgently need to be debated in public, including whether the CIA’s hacking capabilities exceed its mandated powers and the problem of public oversight of the agency. The source wishes to initiate a public debate about the security, creation, use, proliferation and democratic control of cyberweapons.
CIA targets iPhones, Androids, smart TVs:
- CIA malware and hacking tools are built by EDG (Engineering Development Group), a software development group within CCI (Center for Cyber Intelligence), a department belonging to the CIA’s DDI (Directorate for Digital Innovation). The DDI is one of the five major directorates of the CIA (see this organizational chart of the CIA for more details).
- The increasing sophistication of surveillance techniques has drawn comparisons with George Orwell’s 1984, but “Weeping Angel”, developed by the CIA’s Embedded Devices Branch (EDB), which infests smart TVs, transforming them into covert microphones, is surely its most emblematic realization.
Also cars, suggesting that the CIA may have a role in the death of Michael Hastings:
- As of October 2014 the CIA was also looking at infecting the vehicle control systems used by modern cars and trucks.
- The purpose of such control is not specified, but it would permit the CIA to engage in nearly undetectable assassinations.
- The CIA also runs a very substantial effort to infect and control Microsoft Windows users with its malware. This includes multiple local and remote weaponized “zero days”, air gap jumping viruses such as “Hammer Drill” which infects software distributed on CD/DVDs, infectors for removable media such as USBs, systems to hide data in images or in covert disk areas ( “Brutal Kangaroo”) and to keep its malware infestations going.
Hoarding of Zero Day exploits:
- In the wake of Edward Snowden’s leaks about the NSA, the U.S. technology industry secured a commitment from the Obama administration that the executive would disclose on an ongoing basis — rather than hoard — serious vulnerabilities, exploits, bugs or “zero days” to Apple, Google, Microsoft, and other US-based manufacturers.
- Serious vulnerabilities not disclosed to the manufacturers places huge swathes of the population and critical infrastructure at risk to foreign intelligence or cyber criminals who independently discover or hear rumors of the vulnerability. If the CIA can discover such vulnerabilities so can others.
Proliferation of leaked/hacked Cyberwar programs:
- While nuclear proliferation has been restrained by the enormous costs and visible infrastructure involved in assembling enough fissile material to produce a critical nuclear mass, cyber ‘weapons’, once developed, are very hard to retain. Cyber ‘weapons’ are in fact just computer programs which can be pirated like any other. Since they are entirely comprised of information they can be copied quickly with no marginal cost.
- Over the last three years the United States intelligence sector, which consists of government agencies such as the CIA and NSA and their contractors, such as Booze Allan Hamilton, has been subject to unprecedented series of data exfiltrations by its own workers.
- Once a single cyber ‘weapon’ is ‘loose’ it can spread around the world in seconds, to be used by peer states, cyber mafia and teenage hackers alike.
The U.S. Consulate in Frankfurt is a covert CIA hacker base
- In addition to its operations in Langley, Virginia the CIA also uses the U.S. consulate in Frankfurt as a covert base for its hackers covering Europe, the Middle East and Africa. CIA hackers operating out of the Frankfurt consulate ( “Center for Cyber Intelligence Europe” or CCIE) are given diplomatic (“black”) passports and State Department cover.
- The instructions for incoming CIA hackers make Germany’s counter-intelligence efforts appear inconsequential: “Breeze through German Customs because you have your cover-for-action story down pat, and all they did was stamp your passport”
Examples of CIA projects
- The CIA’s Engineering Development Group (EDG) management system contains around 500 different projects (only some of which are documented by “Year Zero”) each with their own sub-projects, malware and hacker tools. The majority of these projects relate to tools that are used for penetration, infestation (“implanting”), control, and exfiltration.
- Umbrage: The CIA’s Remote Devices Branch’s UMBRAGE group collects and maintains a substantial library of attack techniques ‘stolen’ from malware produced in other states including the Russian Federation. With UMBRAGE and related projects the CIA cannot only increase its total number of attack types but also misdirect attribution by leaving behind the “fingerprints” of the groups that the attack techniques were stolen from.
- Fine Dining: Fine Dining comes with a standardized questionnaire i.e menu that CIA case officers fill out. The questionnaire is used by the agency’s OSB (Operational Support Branch) to transform the requests of case officers into technical requirements for hacking attacks (typically “exfiltrating” information from computer systems) for specific operations. Among the list of possible targets of the collection are ‘Asset’, ‘Liason Asset’, ‘System Administrator’, ‘Foreign Information Operations’, ‘Foreign Intelligence Agencies’ and ‘Foreign Government Entities’. Notably absent is any reference to extremists or transnational criminals.
- ‘Improvise’; a toolset for configuration, post-processing, payload setup and execution vector selection for survey/exfiltration tools supporting all major operating systems like Windows (Bartender), MacOS (JukeBox) and Linux (DanceFloor).
- HIVE: HIVE is a multi-platform CIA malware suite and its associated control software. The project provides customizable implants for Windows, Solaris, MikroTik (used in internet routers) and Linux platforms and a Listening Post (LP)/Command and Control (C2) infrastructure to communicate with these implants. The implants are configured to communicate via HTTPS with the webserver of a cover domain; each operation utilizing these implants has a separate cover domain and the infrastructure can handle any number of cover domains.
And some key sections from the FAQ:
- What time period is covered? The years 2013 to 2016. The sort order of the pages within each level is determined by date (oldest first). WikiLeaks has obtained the CIA’s creation/last modification date for each page but these do not yet appear for technical reasons. Usually the date can be discerned or approximated from the content and the page order. If it is critical to know the exact time/date contact WikiLeaks.
- What is “Vault 7” “Vault 7” is a substantial collection of material about CIA activities obtained by WikiLeaks.
- What is the total size of “Vault 7”? The series is the largest intelligence publication in history.
- When was each part of “Vault 7” obtained?: Part one was obtained recently and covers through 2016. Details on the other parts will be available at the time of publication.
- Is each part of “Vault 7” from a different source? Details on the other parts will be available at the time of publication.
- How did WikiLeaks obtain each part of “Vault 7”? Sources trust WikiLeaks to not reveal information that might help identify them.
- Isn’t WikiLeaks worried that the CIA will act against its staff to stop the series? No. That would be certainly counter-productive.
Trump is absolutely right about Sweden
Read More: archive.is/HYKoO
Is this a surprise to anyone? It would be nice to see a list of foods that do not contain glyphosate.
Glyphosate is the main chemical active in several brands of agricultural and corporate farming herbicides used in the growing fields; in GMO seed crop cultures; and in what’s called “preharvest staging” . That’s when the herbicide is sprayed several days [3 to 5 days] prior to crop harvest to “ensure” seed heads mature evenly. Some consider that process acts as a “desiccant.”
The more commonly-used herbicide is Roundup® manufactured by Monsanto. In GMO farming, there is Roundup Ready® seeds, which are totally different from heirloom or non-GMO seeds. One specific difference is GMO seeds have patents on them, meaning something has been done to modify the seed from the parent or original plant strain produced by Nature.
Recently on an Internet talk show, I heard a professor talking about the non-browning apple, i.e., the apple’s protein is turned off to make the GMO-non-browning apple not brown when cut and exposed to air, as a normal apple does.
Well, the question I, as a natural nutritionist, have is: If the protein (0.3 gram or 1% of Daily Value)  in the GMO non-browning apple is turned off, does that mean the apple protein is not functional within that GMO apple as a nutrient for human nutrition? Has a scientific nutritional analysis proven that factually one way or the other? Or does science indicate that protein is viable as human nutrition? Because, if not, that would make a real nutritional difference in the GMO non-browning apple!
Furthermore, what’s called the “equivalence factor” of GMO phoods really is this, in my opinion: GMO plants have ‘things’ either inserted or turned off or modified (allowing patents to be issued making food seeds/plants corporate property subject to legal redress) from original parent plants, therefore, GMOs are NOT equivalent to the original plant food, regardless of what GMO science claims!
The fact food crop seeds or plants have “patents” should be the prime exclusionary criterion difference, in my opinion, since historical and heirloom foods/seeds/plants did not, and do not, have patents! That’s why the U.S. FDA is out to lunch on GMO phood science, I say, and all GMO phoods legally must be labeled correctly to comply with truth in advertising laws in the USA.
Then there’s the inconvenient ‘byproduct’ of corporate farming; it’s glyphosate residues in processed foods, which has been confirmed scientifically by Food Democracy Now, The Detox Project and their 29-page report “Glyphosate: UNSAFE ON ANY PLATE”.
Below are two charts showing the glyphosate food testing results in parts per billion (ppb) FDN had performed, and the results are nothing short of stunning! Cheerios, which moms routinely give to toddlers as “finger food,” contain 1,125.3 ppb!
On February 4, 2017, the Trump Administration’s Department of Homeland Security, now under the direction of retired , released a 29-second public service announcement (PSA) on human trafficking which prominently features pizza and a pizzeria.
The PSA begins with a man walking past the pizzeria while the voice-over narrator says:
“The signs are everywhere. Sometimes you just have to take a second look….”
Of course we understand that college is largely inflated in value and benefit. This is yet another example of how the federal government creates inflation and lowers quality in any market they touch.
Vaccination May Increase Risk of Rare Psychiatric Childhood Disorders, Study Finds
Children with anorexia nervosa, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), anxiety and tic disorders were more likely to have had a recent vaccination, according to a new study.
Frontiers | Temporal Association of Certain Neuropsychiatric Disorders Following Vaccination of Children and Adolescents: A Pilot Case–Control Study | Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Abstract Background: Although the association of the MMR vaccine with autism spectrum disorder has been convincingly disproven, the onset of certain brain-related autoimmune and inflammatory disorders has been found to be temporally associated with the antecedent administration of various vaccines. This study examines whether antecedent vaccinations are associated with increased incidence of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), anorexia nervosa (AN), anxiety disorder, chronic tic disorder, ADHD, major depressive disorder, and bipolar disorder in a national sample of privately insured children.Methods: Using claims data, we compared the prior year’s occurrence of vaccinations in children and adolescents ages 6 to 15 years with the above neuropsychiatric disorders that were newly diagnosed between January 2002 and December 2007, as well as two control conditions, broken bones and open wounds. Subjects were matched with controls according to age, gender, geographical area and seasonality. Conditional logistic regression models were used to determine the association of prior vaccinations with each condition. Results: Subjects with newly diagnosed AN were more likely than controls to have had any vaccination in the previous 3 months (hazard ratio [HR] 1.80, 95% confidence interval [95%CI] 1.21-2.68). Influenza vaccinations during the prior 3, 6-, and 12- months were also associated with incident diagnoses of AN, OCD, and an anxiety disorder. Several other associations were al…Abstract Background: Although the association of the MMR vaccine with autism spectrum disorder has been convincingly disproven, the onset of certain brain-related autoimmune and inflammatory disorders has been found to be temporally associated with the antecedent administration of various vaccines. This study examines whether antecedent vaccinations are associated with increased incidence of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), anorexia nervosa (AN), anxiety disorder, chronic tic disorder, ADHD, major depressive disorder, and bipolar disorder in a national sample of privately insured children. Methods: Using claims data, we compared the prior year’s occurrence of vaccinations in children and adolescents ages 6 to 15 years with the above neuropsychiatric disorders that were newly diagnosed between January 2002 and December 2007, as well as two control conditions, broken bones and open wounds. Subjects were matched with controls according to age, gender, geographical area and seasonality. Conditional logistic regression models were used to determine the association of prior vaccinations with each condition. Results: Subjects with newly diagnosed AN were more likely than controls to have had any vaccination in the previous 3 months (hazard ratio [HR] 1.80, 95% confidence interval [95%CI] 1.21-2.68). Influenza vaccinations during the prior 3, 6-, and 12- months were also associated with incident diagnoses of AN, OCD, and an anxiety disorder. Several other associations were also significant with HRs greater than 1.40 (Hepatitis A with OCD and AN; Hepatitis B with AN; and meningitis with AN and chronic tic disorder). Conclusions: This pilot epidemiologic analysis implies that the onset of some neuropsychiatric disorders may be temporally related to prior vaccinations in a subset of individuals. These findings warrant further investigation, but do not prove a causal role of antecedent infections or vaccinations in the pathoetiology of these conditions. Given the modest magnitude of these findings in contrast to the clear public health benefits of the timely administration of vaccines in preventing mortality and morbidity in childhood infectious diseases, we encourage families to maintain vaccination schedules according to CDC guidelines.
About 40 years ago, economist Bruce Yandle went to Washington to work for the Council on Wage and Price Stability, ready to apply his knowledge of economics and educate his fellow workers. After all, he reminisces, one eye-rolling, head-scratching decision after another was coming from government regulators that surely someone versed in economics could expose as stupid, wasteful, and downright ridiculous.
Government Serves the Interests of Government
At some point, Yandle realized that the lay of the regulatory land looked quite different in Washington than it did in Clemson, South Carolina, where he was on the faculty at Clemson University. Regulators — and the representatives of the enterprises they regulated — were not looking to create an atmosphere in which the government tried to find the “optimal” set of regulatory policies that both minimized regulatory costs and allowed for the maximum removal of whatever “externalities” were created.
No, as Yandle writes:
… instead of assuming that regulators really intended to minimize costs but somehow proceeded to make crazy mistakes, I began to assume that they were not trying to minimize costs at all — at least not the costs I had been concerned with. They were trying to minimize their costs, just as most sensible people do.
The more he examined the situation, the more he realized that all of the various actors in the system were acting in their own perceived self-interests — regulators, politicians, and those being regulated — and the combination of their interests created perverse outcomes. The “big picture” view that those on the outside of the situation might have is irrelevant to what actually happens, and understandably so.
Far from the stated goals of the regulators and those involved in the process — that regulation was pursued in order to promote a lofty “public interest” — the real purpose of the regulatory apparatus is the promotion of the regulatory apparatus. The system exists to preserve and protect itself.
Socialists Are Interested in Control, not Economic Prosperity
As I observe (and participate in) a few discussions on Facebook and elsewhere about socialism, I have come to a few conclusions about the nature of the arguments and the reasons why socialists remain socialists even as we see the utter failure of socialist economies throughout history. Maybe the meme that appears once in a while — “If socialists understood economics, they wouldn’t be socialists” — might be true, but I doubt it. As I see it, the purpose of establishing socialism is to further promote socialism, not improve the lot of a society and certainly not to promote prosperity.
First, and most important, the minds of socialists work differently than do the minds of economists that see an economy as a mix of factors of production, prices, final goods, markets, and entrepreneurs that drive the whole route. Those of us who are economists are fascinated by this process because we see human ingenuity, the coordination of the goals of numerous people, and, when the system works, a higher standard of living for most people.
Socialists, however, don’t see what we see. Instead, they see chaos and unequal outcomes. Not everyone benefits, right? In some situations, someone may lose a job or a way of doing things becomes obsolete. In the end, some people won’t be helped at all, at least not directly, and in the mind of someone that has an organic view of society, the fact that certain entrepreneurial actions taken by some individuals have created goods that meet the needs of others is irrelevant. Society should be providing those goods for free! People should not have to pay for what they need!
Are you a surgeon who had done well financially because you have performed medical miracles for people who desperately needed your services? You have exploited sick people! Are you like Martha Stewart, who became wealthy in part by showing people how to make holiday celebrations better? What about the poor? They don’t have nice houses!
When I first started writing about economics nearly 40 years ago, I was like Bruce Yandle, believing that all that was needed to convince socialists to stop being socialists was a well-reasoned economic argument. You know, explain that entrepreneurs don’t earn profits by exploiting workers, but rather entrepreneurs make workers better off by directing resources to their highest-valued uses. You know, explain how a price system really does result in morally-just outcomes because, in the end, it directs resources toward fulfilling the needs of consumers. And so on.
I still believe the arguments, and over the years have come to understand them even better than I did when I wrote my first article for The Freeman in 1981. (It’s funny how Economics in One Lesson continues to become increasingly relevant to my thinking each time I read it.) However, I believe that the end of all of this activity is — or should be — the improvement of life for people in a way that is not predatory and brings about voluntary cooperation among economic actors. In other words, economic activity is a means to an end, and the end is free people gaining in wealth and standards of living.
A socialist does not and will not see things this way. The end of socialism is not a higher living standard or even making life better for the poor, as much as a socialist will talk about the well-being of poor people. No, the end of socialism is socialism, or to better put it, the ideal of socialism. Once socialism is established, as it was in Venezuela or in the former USSR or Cuba, the social ideal had been met no matter what the actual outcome might be.
Avoiding the Word Collapse
Funny how the interviewer tries to blow over the any uncomfortable reasons why Michael Burry would only be investing in farmland and gold.