When WikiLeaks pushed out its Vault7 leak on Tuesday, it had implications not only for the Central Intelligence Agency but also for big tech names such as Apple, which was specifically mentioned in the documents. The iPhone maker was quick to respond to the leak, however, and it claims that “many” of the vulnerabilities that supposedly allowed the CIA to hack into its devices have been patched.
Apple and other devices said to be vulnerable
WikiLeaks dumped thousands of documents it said were leaked from the CIA on Tuesday. The documents focus on the spy agency’s efforts to hack popular consumer devices such as smartphones and even smart TVs. The documents claim that spies are able to use virtually any device to listen in on conversations by tapping into their microphones, even if the devices are turned off. Even Samsung TVs were listed as being vulnerable to hacking by American spies.
The documents leaked by WikiLeaks included some charts listing the vulnerabilities in iOS and what those vulnerabilities enabled spies to do. Aside from listening in on conversations, some of the exploits even enabled hackers to control the devices. According to the documents, the CIA developed some of the exploits itself and purchased, downloaded or copied others from sources outside the government.
Apple claims devices still secure
Now in a statement sent to TechCrunch, Apple claims that the vulnerabilities they were exploiting have been patched. It says it’s “deeply committed” to keeping its customers’ data private and secure and that “the technology built into today’s iPhone represents the best data security available to consumers.” The company also said that “many” of the exploits that were listed in the WikiLeaks Vault7 documents have already been patched in the latest version of iOS. Further, it continues to work on the vulnerabilities that haven’t been patched.
At least 80% of Apple users keep iOS up to date on their devices, but users of Android devices aren’t as conscientious. The newest versions of operating systems always contain updates to patch vulnerabilities, although some techies simply don’t want to keep their devices up to date, particularly if they prefer to keep their iPhones jailbroken.
It’s unclear whether Google‘s Android has been keeping up with patches on these exploits, but it does take longer for updates to the OS to be rolled out to devices made by other manufacturers.