WikiLeaks claims Samsung TVs enable surveillance

Posted at 2:44 PM, Mar 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-07 16:19:50-05

WASHINGTON (AP) -- WikiLeaks has published more than 8,000 documents purportedly taken from the Central Intelligence Agency's Center for Cyber Intelligence. They cover a host of technical topics, including what appears to be a discussion about how to compromise smart televisions and turn them into improvised surveillance devices.

WikiLeaks claims Samsung smart TVs are among the CIA's weapons. The group claims the CIA worked with U.K. intelligence officials to turn microphones in the TVs into listening devices.

Samsung smart TVs have microphones so viewers can make voice commands, such as requests for movie recommendations. The commands typically aren't transmitted outside the home unless users activate the feature. If the TV is off, there's no listening being done.

But WikiLeaks claims that documents it obtained show that through a program called Weeping Angel, the target TV appears to be off when it is actually on -- and listening.

WikiLeaks says the audio goes to a covert CIA server rather than a party authorized by Samsung. In such cases, audio isn't limited to TV commands but could include everyday conversations.

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