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blog post, the latest attack campaign – dubbed Gooligan – is expanding to an additional 13,000 devices each day.
The malicious software infects your Android device and steals the authentication tokens to breach data from your Google Play, Gmail, Google Photos, Google Docs, Google Drive apps, amongst others.
But it seems to most thoroughly detail the CIA's work to penetrate smartphones: One chart describes more than 25 Android hacking techniques, while another shows 14 i OS attacks.
Given the CIA’s counterterrorism work—and the ability of a phone exploit to keep tabs on a target’s location—that focus on mobile makes sense, Healey says.
And for Mac OS, the document references an attack on computers' BIOS, the software that boots before the rest of the operating system.
Compromising that can lead to a particularly dangerous and deep-rooted malware infection."This is something we already know that can be done, but we haven’t seen it in the wild," says Alfredo Ortega, a researcher for security firm Avast.
That includes the sandbox that limits applications' access to the operating system and the security feature that randomizes where a program runs in memory to make it harder to corrupt adjacent software."Definitely with these exploits chained together [the CIA] could take full control of an i Phone," says Marcello Salvati, a researcher and penetration tester at security firm Coalfire.
"This is the first public evidence that’s the case."The leak sheds some limited light on the CIA's sources of those exploits, too.
Google and Apple have yet to weigh in on the leak and whether it points to vulnerabilities that still persist in their mobile operating systems."If you’re going to be trying to figure where Bin Laden is, mobile phones are going to be more important."The smartphone exploits listed, it's important to note, are largely old.Researchers date the leak to sometime between late 2015 and early 2016, suggesting that many of the hacking techniques that may have once been zero days are now likely patched.Targeting Android, for instance, the leak references eight remote-access exploits—meaning they require no physical contact with the device—including two that target Samsung Galaxy and Nexus phones and Samsung Tab tablets.Those attacks would offer hackers an initial foothold on target devices: In three cases, the exploit descriptions reference browsers like Chrome, Opera, and Samsung's own mobile browser, suggesting that they could be launched from maliciously crafted or infected web pages.
This new malware attack is now believed to be the biggest single theft of Google accounts on record, has an email address checker that will immediately let you know if your account has been breached.