Google says Android and Chrome systems ’protected’ amid WikiLeaks disclosures


US tech giant Google sought to reassure users of Android-powered phones and its Chrome operating system that it has already protected them from many of the security weaknesses disclosed by the anti-secrecy site WikiLeaks.

The news came about 36 hours after WikiLeaks released thousands of documents that it claims show a broad programme by the CIA to turn everyday gadgets such as iPhones into snooping tools by exploiting previously undisclosed software flaws.

Apple had previously said it fixed many of the problems that made iPhones and iPads vulnerable.

The Android software, which Google gives away to device makers, powers about eight out of every smartphones in the world.

Google said it is still analysing the documents released by WikiLeaks and will take any other additional security steps.

Earlier, the CIA warned that Americans should be “deeply troubled” by WikiLeaks’ disclosure of documents that purportedly detail ways the agency does its hacking.

Spokeswoman Heather Fritz Horniak said the agency would not comment on the authenticity of the documents released or on the status of any investigation into the source of the documents.

The agency said such disclosures not only jeopardise US personnel and operations, but also equip American adversaries with tools and information to damage national security.

Intelligence and law enforcement officials are still reviewing the cache of more than 8,000 documents which describe clandestine methods for bypassing or defeating encryption, antivirus tools and other protective security features intended to keep the private information of citizens and corporations safe from prying eyes.

US government employees, including President Donald Trump, use many of the same products and internet services purportedly compromised by the tools.

The documents describe CIA efforts – co-operating with friendly foreign governments and the US National Security Agency – to subvert the world’s most popular technology platforms, including Apple’s iPhones and iPads, Google’s Android phones and the Microsoft Windows operating system for desktop computers and laptops.

The documents also included discussions about compromising some internet-connected televisions to turn them into listening posts.

One document discusses hacking vehicle systems, indicating the CIA’s interest in hacking modern cars with sophisticated on-board computers.

WikiLeaks has a long track record of releasing top secret government documents, and experts who sifted through the material said it appeared legitimate.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.