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WikiLeaks Reveals ‘Project Imperial’ Mac Hacking Tools from CIA Vault 7 Leaks
Breitbart ^ | July 31, 2017 | By Lucas Nolan

Posted on 08/01/2017 1:50:54 AM PDT by Swordmaker

In the latest release from their CIA Vault 7 series, WikiLeaks has revealed a collection of Mac and Linux hacking tools known as “Project Imperial.”

WikiLeaks’ latest release in their CIA Vault 7 series details a number of advanced hacking tools that fall under the title of “Project Imperial.” The programs “Achilles” and “SeaPea” both target MacOS while the “Aeris” program targets Linux based systems. The WikiLeaks release page states that CIA agents can use Achilles to, “Trojan an OS X disk image (.dmg) installer with one or more desired operator specified executables for a one-time execution.”

SeaPea however, acts as a MacOS rootkit, infiltrating OSX systems once they’re rebooted. WikiLeaks states that SeaPea, “provides stealth and tool-launching capabilities,” allowing CIA agents to infiltrate and control targets computers without their knowledge. The Linux Aeris program is a malware that attacks Linux distributions such as Debian, CentOS, Red Hat, FreeBSD and Solaris Unix. The Linux malware includes data transferring capabilities and can commit custom attacks.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: applepinglist; ciansafbi; security; wikileaks
Apparently, the Mac attacks are again Trojans, requiring the participation of the user, or require the attacker have physical access to the Mac. Most likely the same for the Linux machines. Root attacks have been closed off on Macs by an update last year that added a new password for any changes to the core applications of OsX or MacOS that even the Root user must invoke to make changes over and above root access. . . this super password is required to make any firmware or reboot persistent core changes.
1 posted on 08/01/2017 1:50:54 AM PDT by Swordmaker
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To: dayglored; ShadowAce; ~Kim4VRWC's~; 1234; 5thGenTexan; Abundy; Action-America; acoulterfan; ...
Another Wikileaks dump reveals more hacking tools for Macs, but still seem to be Trojans requiring participation of the user for installing the exploit, or actually having physical access to the computer. Also for the first time tools listed for Linux installs... but likely also the same caveats. — PING!

Thanks to Amigatec for the headsup.

Wikileaks dumps more Apple Government hacks, adds Linux hacks

The latest Apple/Mac/iOS Pings can be found by searching Keyword "ApplePingList" on FreeRepublic's Search.

If you want on or off the Mac Ping List, Freepmail me

2 posted on 08/01/2017 2:00:51 AM PDT by Swordmaker (This tag line is a Microsoft insult free zone... but if the insults to Mac users continue...)
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To: Swordmaker

In what does it mean...for those of us who don’t speak computer.

3 posted on 08/01/2017 2:35:36 AM PDT by Dog (..."I'm just a cook....")
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To: Dog

In what does it mean...for those of us who don’t speak computer.

It means there’s still been no arrests and convictions, let alone removal\firings of Deep State members.

Oh, you mean the toys and tools? Means no OS is safe from stupidity and a corrupt govt.

4 posted on 08/01/2017 3:59:41 AM PDT by i_robot73 ("A man chooses. A slave obeys." - Andrew Ryan)
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To: Dog

We are doomed!

5 posted on 08/01/2017 4:12:29 AM PDT by SERE_DOC ( The beauty of the Second Amendment is that it will not be needed until they try to take it. T)
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To: Swordmaker

No doubt, they are obeying the Constitution and obtaining warrants first...

6 posted on 08/01/2017 7:24:50 AM PDT by aMorePerfectUnion
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To: Dog
I know just enough to be dangerous, but here goes:
  1. Every computer is too excruciatingly complex for human beings to efficiently control. This has been true since the advent of the digital computer in the vacuum tube era of electronics. The solution to this problem is to create programs which translate a general human command, such as “store this number in that place” or “display this number on the screen” into the excruciatingly detailed instructions required to accomplish your purpose. Such programs have to have a base of the most detailed, binary coded, instructions, and more and more general instructions which use the more detailed ones.

  2. The upshot is that every computer has an “operating system” and “applications programs” which make use of the functions provided by the operating system (OS) to, say, run your word processing program or your browser. There are any number of different operating systems which have been developed and used.

    The simplest operating systems are made to run a single program at any one time, doing exactly what the instructions from a single user imply. You have your own computer, and you tell it what to do, right? Well, in the early days computers were big and very expensive, and if you wanted to be able to use it, you had to wait your turn. At the same time, computers were geometrically getting faster (a process described by "Moore’s Law” but actually caused by the elasticity of the demand curve for digital electronics - and the elasticity, over time, of the supply curve). To satisfy the demand for computer time, the complexity of multi-user, multitasking was added to the criteria of what constituted a good operating system.

    But the multiuser criterion in particular was a challenge, because each user needed to be able to trust all other users not to cause problems for him. Thus, the multiuser criterion added not only the requirement to rapidly switch from one task to another and another … and back to the first. The multiuser criterion also added the requirement that those tasks be compartmentalized so that nothing I did as a user affected anything the computer did for you. That is, the design of a multiuser operating system requires a heightened level of paranoia on the part of the designer. And that is a good thing, for you the user. Even if you think that you alone command your computer, the robust multiuser OS is looking for trouble all the time, and trying to handle it.

    And when your computer is in a network, with files (e.g., email) coming in which you do not directly supervise, the potential exists for programs to come into your computer uninvited, and to be recognized as legitimate instructions and be executed by your computer. This kind of thing even cropped up in PCs before the Internet boom put virtually all computers on a single network. In principle it is impossible to know that your computer on the web is not being spied on. You have to trust the robustness of the design of the operating system, and thus you want the most robust OS on offer for your computer. If the designer of the OS on your computer was not paranoid, you won’t have the trust you need and you will be paranoid yourself. Worse, the same people who try to smuggle instructions into your computer to do nefarious things on it may attempt to practice on your paranoia to induce you to voluntarily do things on your own initiative which compromise your computer. That is called a “phishing” attack, and when I was using a PC I suckered for one of them, which was innocently perpetrated against me by a trusted individual who himself fell for it first.

  3. By far the predominant multitasking, multiuser operating system today is Unix, and derivatives thereof. Apple’s MacOS, also known as OS X, is Unix with an elegant graphical user interface built on top of it. Linux originated with a successful effort (by Linus Torvold) to create a version of Unix for the garden-variety PC which typically comes with Windows as its default operating system. Linux may not actually be Unix ™ but it is a reasonable facsimile thereto. As far as is known, Unix (and its derivative, Linux) successfully prevent the network from inserting malicious code into your computer and automatically executing it.

    That was far from the case with the old DOS which ran on the IBM PC and compatibles, and extending to (all 20th century?) versions of Windows which operated on top of DOS as OS X runs on top of Unix. A single user OS designed without any paranoia about malicious code being injected into the computer, DOS was a sitting duck. Anyone, let alone any government, could use malicious software to make your computer give up its secrets.

  4. Malicious code which can self-activate without explicit user command, and which can propagate itself from your computer to others, is called a virus. Malicious code which requires the user to give permission for it to run is called a Trojan (horse). The Mac OS is designed to give ample warning when a Trojan tries to execute. If one somehow arrives and tries to execute, you will be asked explicitly for permission to execute the program. If the Trojan is not new to Apple engineers but has been identified and its signature has been published to all Macs online, a Mac user may be explicitly warned not to run the program. Of course, people who research such things have to be able to override that warning. But for most of us it is industrial-strength stupidity to do that.

  5. Swordmaker’s point is that the revelations in the article do not change his assessment that the only way to get malicious code to run in a Mac - or a Linux box - is by physical access to the box. Either by physical intrusion, or by psychological stealth that cons the user into physically doing what prudence demands that he refrain from.

    Any description of Swordmaker's prescription for malware security should include his recommendations

    • that Flash be uninstalled, and

    • that users of Macs should change their accounts such that they can use their Admin privilege account - which is the default account you will create on a Mac straight out of the box - only on an as-needed basis.

      In Swordmaker lays out the process to transition to operating by default in a user, rather than an admin, account.

7 posted on 08/01/2017 8:03:23 AM PDT by conservatism_IS_compassion (A press can be 'associated,' or a press can be independent. Demand independent presses.)
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To: conservatism_IS_compassion
Thank you cIc, I stood in awe of your concise summary of the differences in computer OSes as well as my recommendations. My proverbial hat is doffed to you. BRAVO!

PS: my cat also added her admiration just after I typed that, but I had to remove what she added, as her comments were untranslatable, seeing as how she inserted them into the middle of what I typed by the catly means of walking across the keyboard. Too bad, because, as usual, she was quite eloquent, and I am certain you would have liked enjoyed her feline comments.

8 posted on 08/01/2017 9:56:58 AM PDT by Swordmaker (This tag line is a Microsoft insult free zone... but if the insults to Mac users continue...)
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To: Swordmaker
Thank you cIc
Thank you, SM. For adding value to society by helping businessmen (is it dentists exclusively?) keep their computers up and running. And by raising the computer competence of those of us FReepers who do - or should - use Macs.

I’m glad you took my explanation to be reasonably accurate. I was pretty certain that I would either find a gaffe in it, or miss something that I should have said. And the latter is certainly true of my summary of your security recommendations; I should have added

I wonder what else I forgot?

9 posted on 08/01/2017 10:38:13 AM PDT by conservatism_IS_compassion (A press can be 'associated,' or a press can be independent. Demand independent presses.)
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