WikiLeaks : We will work with tech companies to patch vulnerabilities before releasing further CIA hacking information

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange provided a brief address before answering questions submitted via Twitter in a digital news conference broadcast using the Periscope platform on Thursday. Source : Periscope/Fair Use/Screen Shot

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange provided a brief address before answering questions submitted via Twitter in a digital news conference broadcast using the Periscope platform on Thursday. Source : Periscope/Fair Use/Screen Shot

By LOUIS FLORES

In a brief address delivered during a digital press conference, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange announced that the transparency group would work with technology companies before releasing additional documents about the hacking tools used by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. Mr. Assange described the arrangement as WikiLeaks sharing with corporations the technical information about the vulnerabilities used by the CIA in order to allow the technology companies the opportunity to patch the vulnerabilities before WikiLeaks would release the technical documents about the vulnerabilities.

Mr. Assange described WikiLeaks' effort to collaborate with technology companies prior to releasing additional technical documents of the "cyber weapons" as an attempt to "disarm" the hacking tools.

Whilst answering questions, Mr. Assange estimated that the time frame to address some hacking vulnerabilities in devices could take a couple of days, whereas the time frame for other devices, such as smart television sets, could depend on the owners of such devices becoming aware of the vulnerabilities -- and then pressing upon manufacturers, such as Samsung, to create antidotes to the vulnerabilities.

On Tuesday, WikiLeaks published what was described as the first part of documents of the CIA's hacking tools. The first set of documents revealed that the CIA was using malware to gain access to smartphones, computers, and smart television sets. Other revelations included that a U.S. Consulate in Frankfurt, Germany doubled as a hacking base for large areas of the Eastern Hemisphere.

It was not immediately made clear whether WikiLeaks would, in the interim, release non-technical information about the CIA's hacking program.

During several points during the digital press conference, Mr. Assange placed emphasis on the CIA's lack of responsibility and accountability for, first, assembling a dangerous cache of hacking tools, and for, second, losing control over its arsenal of cyber weapons.