The latest documents dubbed Dark Matter that were published by WikiLeaks on Thursday as the latest addition to their famous Vault 7 data-dump detail how the CIA developed special tools which target the firmware of MacBooks and iPhones as far back as 2008.
The leaked intel explains how the CIA uses state of the art hacking techniques to, let me quote the legalese term for hacking, “gain persistence” on Apple’s devices, including iPhones and MacBooks.
To quote from the press release courtesy of WikiLeaks:
“These documents explain the techniques used by CIA to gain ‘persistence’ on Apple Mac devices, including Macs and iPhones and demonstrate their use of EFI/UEFI and firmware malware,”
One of the tools created for targeting Mac’s firmware is dubbed Sonic Screwdriver and it allows the agency to remain in control of your iPhone/MacBook even if the victim/target re-installs the OS or wipes all of the data.
Also, the aforementioned malware which is presumably present in all factory fresh Apple gadgets allows the CIA to execute code on peripheral devices, thus allowing the agency to use an Ethernet adapter plugged in the Thunderbolt port for gaining access to a Mac’s firmware. In this way, the hacker can download malware into the targeted device even when a firmware password is enabled.
From the WikiLeaks’ press release:
“While CIA assets are sometimes used to physically infect systems in the custody of a target it is likely that many CIA physical access attacks have infected the targeted organization’s supply chain including by interdicting mail orders and other shipments (opening, infecting, and resending) leaving the United States or otherwise,”
Basically, this means that iPhone hacking tools which were operational since 2007-2008 were designed for infecting factory fresh devices in the supply chain.
Check out all the data here.
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) March 23, 2017