Another day, another horrific insight into our lack of privacy. According to decade-old documents that were recently released by WikiLeaks, the CIA has the ability to hack into people’s WiFi routers in order to snoop at their internet searches. Just the thought of someone looking through my mess of a search history is making me cringe.
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The CIA uses firmware, given the codename ‘CherryBlossom’, to run on home routers from ten US manufacturers including Linksys, DLink and Belkin. The ten year old document says:
The Cherry Blossom (CB) system provides a means of monitoring the internet activity of and performing software exploits on targets of interest.
In particular, CB is focused on compromising wireless networking devices, such as wireless (802.11) routers and access points (APs), to achieve these goals.
The report also describes how routers with weak passwords are easier to hack and that once the CherryBlossom is fully installed on someone’s internet router, the device then starts to send messages to a CIA-run server called ‘CherryTree’. And it’s using these messages that the CIA is able to then see the person’s web traffic.
Obviously they claim its to do with targeting a specific laptop or device inside the home of someone considered a “suspect” but it’s worrying that governmental bodies have the power to do this. And as said, the CIA documents that were released by WikiLeaks date back to 2007, so this practice has been going on for ten years without the public’s knowledge or even consent.
When you think of all the other ways people are being monitored, not just the government but also big corporations like Amazon, then it’s pretty unnerving to think that this level of privacy invasion is going down in the comfort of people’s own homes.
To read about how Google tracks your every step, click HERE.