CIA Given More Cyberattack Powers With Secret Order

By:  |  Category: Blog Wednesday, July 15th, 2020  |  No Comments

Finally, a little counter-espionage! New reports suggest that in 2018 the CIA was allowed to take the offense on cyberattacks. Before that, they had been limited to defense only when it came to other countries attacking our infrastructure and businesses.

CIA’s Secret Order

But back in 2018, President Donald Trump signed a secret order giving the CIA more freedom, according to Yahoo News.

“The presidential finding apparently undid restrictions created by previous administrations, allowing the agency to authorize more of its own operations instead of waiting for White House approval.”

The order was intended to let the US go on the offensive against “adversarial countries” like Russia, China, Iran, North Korea and others, according to the report, which cited unnamed former US officials.

The new powers allow the CIA to disrupt infrastructure (like electricity) or leak sensitive information online, Yahoo News reported, and furthered it’s breadth to hit media groups, charities, religious institutions or businesses potentially linked to the country’s intelligence services with cyberattacks.

How has it played out?

It looks like they have put their new powers to use.  Yahoo News reported that the agency used its newly acquired powers to orchestrate “at least a dozen operations” across the world.

Yahoo News reporters believe the CIA’s new powers and modus operandi link it to a series of hack-and-dump incidents that took place primarily in 2019, such as:

  • Publishing hacking tools (malware) from APT34, an Iranian government hacking unit, on Telegram.
  • Doxing Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) intelligence agents on Telegram by revealing their full names, home addresses, phone numbers, and social media profiles.
  • Dumping details about 15 million payment cards from three Iranian banks linked to Iran’s IRGC.
  • Hacking two contractors that provide cyber-weapons and surveillance solutions for Russia’s FSB intelligence agency and sharing the data online via a hacktivist group called Digital Revolution.

According to Yahoo, neither the CIA nor the White House immediately responded to requests for comment.

Source: Yahoo News


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