August 3, 2017
Details of the CIA’s Dumbo project, a system that manipulates devices such as webcams and microphones on Microsoft Windows-operating systems, have been published by WikiLeaks. The program also corrupts video recordings, according to the leaked documents.
The whistleblowing organization released the files as part of its Vault 7 series on the CIA’s hacking capabilities.
According to Wikileaks, the technology is intended for use where the deployment of a special branch within the CIA’s Center for Cyber Intelligence could be compromised.
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) August 3, 2017
Dumbo can identify, control and manipulate monitoring and detection systems on a target computer running the Microsoft Windows operating system, according to the documents.
The earliest Dumbo document released by WikiLeaks is dated June 25, 2012. The Tool Delivery Review document states that the system’s capabilities are being requested by the CIA’s special branch to “deter home security systems that may identify officers or prevent operations.”
The program has to be executed “directly from a USB thumb drive,” according to a field guide for the system released by WikiLeaks on Thursday. The document indicates that the thumb drive has to be connected to the machine for Dumbo to work: “For the log to be maintained, the thumb drive Dumbo is executed from must remain plugged into the system throughout the duration of the operation.”
“Logging entries are also preceded by a header labeling if the entry is good, bad, or simply informative,” the field guide notes. “The following shows an example log excerpt:”
It identifies installed devices such as webcams and microphones, locally or connected by…