Beware! Your Samsung Smart TV Could Be A Spy Working For CIA / MI5

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Mar 09 2017
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People who are technical savvy will think twice about paying a premium for a smart TV. Those who are concerned about security will not purchase, let alone connect a smart TV to the Internet. Now, it is proven that smart TVs aren’t a smart investment at all because they could be turned into listening devices, working against the owners.


The notorious WikiLeaks has once again exposed a hidden secret that spy agencies had tried very hard to hide. CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) has in its possession of a secret and dangerous hacking program – “Weeping Angel”. With this spyware, CIA can gain access to your living room through TVs such as the overpriced Samsung Smart TVs.

United States CIA - Central Intelligence Agency

Weeping Angel allows spy agencies CIA and British-MI5 access to Smart TVs, allowing the television’s built-in voice control microphone to be remotely enabled while keeping the appearance that the TV itself was switched off (when in fact it wasn’t) using a feature called “Fake-Off mode.” The bugged device can then record your conversations and even take photographs.


As the TV display is switched off and LED indicator lights would be suppressed, the hardware inside the television would continue to operate – unknown or transparent to the owner. The British intelligence MI5 and American spy agency CIA developed the method to hack anyone they like, or don’t like. However, they first need to plant the malware.

Samsung Smart TV

Once the malware was inside the smart TV, it could relay recorded audio data or photographs to CIA or MI5 servers over the internet connection. WikiLeaks apparently received a cache of the secret documents from an identified source who was concerned that the agency’s “hacking capabilities exceed its mandated powers.”


According to the documents, the “Weeping Angel” does not only hack smart TV but also smartphones such as Apple iPhones, iPods and iPads. The CIA is also alleged to be targeting cars that contain onboard computers linked to the internet. Once planted in the so-called smart cars, CIA would be in control of the vehicles and could stage assassinations and make them look like accidents.

BMW Smart Car

In total, WikiLeaks published 8,761 documents, claiming it to be the largest ever release of CIA files in its history. The CIA declined to comment while experts said the documents, generated by the agency’s Engineering Development Group, between 2013 and 2016, seemed genuine. The documents also show how British-MI5 held workshop with CIA to find ways to “hack” into household devices.


The catastrophic leak of data also mentioned Samsung F8000 range of internet-connected televisions that are vulnerable to the malware. The smart TVs come with a microphone that is normally used for voice-activated controls. The leaked files also show evidence that smartphones using Google’s Android software as well as Microsoft Windows operating system can be infected too.

GCHQ - UK Government Communications Headquarters 

According to the documents, GCHQ, the British Government’s listening agency based in Cheltenham, worked on six different methods for targeting the iOS operating system used on iPhones, iPods and iPads  and one for spying on Android phones. In total the CIA developed 14 applications targeting iPhones and 24 aimed at Android phone users.


The CIA / MI5 are alleged to have exploited glitches in the technology that the original manufacturer or designer isn’t yet aware of – called “zero days” – to hack into the devices. The hacking program is so advanced that it defeats encryption, antivirus tools and other protective security features for computers, mobile phones and smart TVs, of course.

Apple iPhone and Android Phone 

The smart TV breach is just the latest example of a security problem emerging from the so-called “Internet of Things.” Although the leaks mentioned only one model – Samsung F8000 – it is believed other brands of smart TVs could easily be exploited and planted with the lethal “Weeping Angel” spyware / malware.


If you’ve got a Samsung from 2012 or 2013, you should be worried. The affected models are UNES8000F, E8000GF plasma, and UNES7550F (2012 models). For the 2013 models, they are UNF8000 series, F8500 plasma, UNF7500 series, and UNF7000 series. To determine your firmware version and to update it, go to the main menu; select Support, then select Software Update.

CIA Hacks and Spies Using Samsung Smart TV - Update Software Firmware

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told the Senate last year that breaching smart devices was a priority for American spies – “In the future, intelligence services might use the (internet of things) for identification, surveillance, monitoring, location tracking, and targeting for recruitment, or to gain access to networks or user credentials.”


After the bombshell, WikiLeaks is now raising the idea of sharing sensitive details it uncovered about CIA hacking tools with leading technology companies such as Apple, Google, Microsoft, Samsung and others. Unless these corporations are willing to work hand-in-glove with CIA / MI5, identifying and fixing any flaws in their software should be the top priority now.


White House spokesman Sean Spicer said – “This is the kind of disclosure that undermines our security, our country and our well-being. This alleged leak should concern every single American.” Agencies such as CIA, FBI, and NSA are in hot soup after President Trump accused them of working with former President Barack Obama of spying by wiretapping his phone and Trump Tower.


To rub salt in the CIA’s wound, WikiLeaks claims its cache of stolen CIA files, which the group simply calls “Vault 7”, is just the tip of the iceberg constituting less than 1% of what they possess. WikiLeaks hinted it obtained the files after the spy agency “lost control” when they began circulating among a 5,000-person network of former U.S. government hackers and contractors.

US Clinton Email Scandal - WikiLeaks Van Passing The Capitol

But “Weeping Angel” isn’t the only spyware / malware created by CIA / MI5. In total, the documents exposed that the spy agencies created more than 1,000 viruses and other types of malware to gain access to everyday items. Among them is “Hammer Drill” virus designed to infect software distributed on CDs or DVDs running Microsoft Windows or Linux operating system.


Even if you don’t own a smart TV, your iPhone or Android smartphone would betray you as even encrypted messages sent through popular services like WhatsApp, Signal and Telegram are vulnerable. What we don’t know is whether those spyware / malware are still functioning with your latest iOS or Android updates.

CIA Spying - Internet of Things - Pokemon Virus Spyware Malware 

Heck, the CIA also named their viruses after Pokémon. Names such as Dugtrio, Starmie, Totodile, Steelix, Snubbull and Flaaffy are all associated with the CIA’s spyware / malware. Dugtrio, for example, affected devices on Android 4.0 to 4.1.2, allowing hackers to gain remote access to devices while Spearow gave hackers remote access to private information.


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