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The documents appear to detail various hacking tools used by the CIA to exploit vulnerabilities in smartphones, tablets, computers, wireless routers, cars and other devices, allowing the agency to spy on people without their knowledge.

Google declined to comment about allegations that the Central Intelligence Agency was able to "penetrate, infest and control" Android phones due to its discovery and acquisition of "zero day" bugs - previously unknown flaws in the operating system's code.

The CIA wouldn't confirm Wednesday that the material came from its files, although no one is doubting that it did.

A specialized Federal Bureau of Investigation unit is on the case after the release to WikiLeaks of thousands of documents detailing the CIA's cyberspying capabilities. The leaks come at an especially sensitive juncture, with the United States intelligence agencies involved in confrontation with the president, Donald Trump, over alleged Russian hacking to influence the U.S. election. This appear to be where investigators are now focusing their attention.

WikiLeaks this week said it obtained portions of the CIA's hacking archive and had several hundred million lines of code.

"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 WikiLeaks statement said.

According to CNBC, various contracting companies are checking to see which of their employees had access to the material published by WikiLeaks. The publication of the "Vault 7" classified documents once again raises questions about USA security agencies inability to keep their secret documents secret in the digital age.

While this leak hasn't yet been authenticated, it could prove to be one of the biggest leaks in recent years. "The American public should be deeply troubled by any Wikileaks disclosure created to damage the intelligence community's ability to protect America against terrorists and other adversaries", CIA spokesman Ryan Tripani said. The disclosure is also exceptional from a political, legal and forensic perspective.

However, it did not publish the full programmes that would be needed to actually conduct cyber exploits against phones, computers and Internet-connected televisions. White House spokesman Sean Spicer also declined comment.

If sharing were to occur, it would be an unusual alliance that would give companies like Apple, Google, Microsoft, Samsung and others an opportunity to identify and fix any flaws in their software and devices that were being exploited by USA spy agencies and some foreign allies, as described in the material. On Thursday it did finally issue a statement, saying it has already patched numerous flaws detailed in the documents: "We're confident that security updates and protections in both Chrome and Android already shield users from many of these alleged vulnerabilities", the company said.

WikiLeaks, however, claims that there are more data dumps coming to Vault 7, which should provide a better idea on the reality of the CIA's hacking capabilities.


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