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Weeping Angel, Brutal Kangaroo and other secret CIA code names from the WikiLeaks surveillance leak

Other code names include Fine Dining, Cutthroat and HarpyEagle.

Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks
Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks
Carl Court / Getty

WikiLeaks shared nearly 9,000 pages of leaked documents from the Central Intelligence Agency today. The new cache details covert mass surveillance programs that appear to undermine encryption in iPhones, Android smartphones, Samsung smart TVs and other internet-connected devices.

The documents also describe a number of malware attacks used by the CIA to survey users on Windows, Mac OS and Linux operating systems.

Similar to the disclosures from Edward Snowden on the National Security Agency’s global cyberspying in 2013, this new document dump is loaded with bizarre, classified code names purportedly used by the CIA that sound like they were borrowed straight from the pages of a pulpy spy thriller.

WikiLeaks says that the trove shared today is only a fraction of what is to come in an ongoing series of leaks, which the organization is calling Vault 7.

Here are just a few of the secret cyberspying programs revealed by WikiLeaks today:

  • Weeping Angel, as described in the released documents, is an exploit that targets Samsung smart TVs by placing the internet-connected appliance in a “Fake Off” mode that makes the television appear to be turned off while it covertly sends audio recordings from the room to the CIA.
  • Brutal Kangaroo is malware created by the CIA to infiltrate computers that run Windows by infecting parts of the disk drive, according to WikiLeaks. Similar programs described include efforts to hide malware in .jpg and .png image files.
  • Fine Dining appears to be a list of 24 “decoy applications” that CIA agents can use to manually infect a computer or collect data. While the system appears to be running a video application or looking at a slideshow presentation, the operator can simultaneously run a program to infiltrate it, WikiLeaks reports.
  • Cutthroat and Swindle are part of the CIA’s multiplatform Hive “malware suite” that targets Windows, Linux and Solaris operating systems and MikroTik internet routers and helps establish communication with the infected systems, according to the released documents.
  • HammerDrill is described as a program that compromises Windows operating systems by infiltrating software from CDs and DVDs and logs when discs are inserted into the machine.
  • HarpyEagle appears to be a CIA program focused on finding ways of accessing the file systems of Apple AirPort Extreme and AirPort Time Capsule routers, according to one of the leaked documents.

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