The latest Vault 7 documents released by WikiLeaks enclose the techniques CIA is using to infect so-called “air-gapped” PCs. It exposes a malware that targets the computers which are not connected to the internet through using a USB stick.
These hacking methods exposed by Julian Assange’s WikiLeaks on Thursday, inject vulnerabilities alike those used in the unknown Stuxnet attacks. These attacks were planned by the US and Israel in order to infect the nuclear plants in Iran which also utilize Thumb drives to access the critical systems.
An array of manuals was included in the Wikileaks exposed “Brutal Kangaroo” leak from CIA information office. An overview of these attacks was illustrated in the user guide released in February 2016, showing the workings of “drifting Deadline” malware which is included in the Brutal Kangaroo suite. This malware was designed in a way that it first infects a PC and then the plugged-in thumb drive. Whenever the victim move this USB stick to a non-connected (air-gapped) computer, the malware infection spreads.
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Finally, the software named Shadow could “create a custom covert network within the target closed network,” which CIA could use to carry out further attacks and tracking activities.
However, this kind of attack could exploit vulnerabilities that easily spread in no time when a user opens the files on the thumb drive in Windows Explorer. For that, they just need to peruse these files, to get infected as explained by an independent research going by the name xorz. That specific part of the Brutal Kangaroo attack suite was similar to the one squandered by Stuxnet. In this attack, it was transferred through malicious.Ink files.
Therefore, CIA malware could target the disconnected PCs used by terrorists and Industrial groups, said xorz.
Is Microsoft Working With Wikileaks?
Since February 2016, Microsoft is releasing updates so that the users could patch the security flaws pertaining in Windows. Also, one security update is released this month. However, one could hardly believe that after the implementation of security patches in Giraffe and Okabi vectors, the CIA hasn’t developed new execution vectors.
After the WikiLeaks has released the Vault 7 documents earlier this year in March, they have owed to help software vendors in patching up the reported issues. Yet, it is still unclear that the resolved lnk. issues by Microsoft in past few months are linked to Brutal Kangaroo or not.
This part of extensive Vault 7 document is the one for which the WikiLeaks claims to be stolen by the CIA hackers and insiders. However, they have initially mentioned a few details in the released Vault 7 document series earlier this year.