4 ways the CIA can hack you right now

Privacy news
2 mins
An illustrated man in a trench coat peruses the internet.

Five years ago, Edward Snowden revealed that the NSA extensively collects information on citizens worldwide. It’s now clear that privacy is no longer a right we can take for granted.

What’s more, the recent information shared by WikiLeaks surrounding CIA hacking and spying emphasizes a chilling fact: You can be spied on at any moment. While law enforcement should learn to love encryption, it’s clear the CIA is set on spying and hacking targets of interest.

Here are four ways the CIA hackers could be targeting you, wherever you are.

1. Smartphone hacking: Turning your smartphone into a bug

The CIA’s Mobile Devices Branch has targeted smartphones as a way to spy on unsuspecting users. Whether you’re an iPhone or an Android user, the CIA has developed exploits that can access text and audio communications directly on your phone before they get encrypted by your favorite chat app.

Furthermore, hacked phones can be instructed to relay your location and activate their cameras and microphones, which inconspicuously turns your phone into a CIA bug.

2. Smart TV spying: Spying through your TV

We’re all used to watching people on TV. Sadly, the CIA may now be watching you through yours. According to WikiLeaks, the CIA has developed a program called Weeping Angel, which can place a smart TV in a surveillance mode. During a Weeping Angel attack, the TV will appear off, but it will secretly record audio and send it to CIA servers.

3. Computer hacking: Infecting your computer with NSA technology

Malware is not only used by nefarious criminals seeking to extract money from you. WikiLeaks reported a substantial effort by the CIA to infect and control computers, potentially corrupting CDs, DVDs, and USB sticks. Furthermore, WikiLeaks reports that the CIA has developed capabilities to not only infiltrate systems but to remain undetected in infected devices.

4. Carjacking: Controlling your car on the road

Scarily, the CIA can allegedly hack the control systems of modern vehicles. Not only does this allow them to know where you are and where you’re going, but it gives them the potential to carry out nearly undetectable assassinations.

How to protect yourself from CIA spying and hacking

The truth is, the CIA and other intelligence agencies around the world are ramping up efforts to monitor and interfere with perceived targets of interest. To protect yourself from the CIA’s hacking:

  1. Frequently update the security settings of your devices
  2. Do not use unencrypted communication tools/devices
  3. Never leave your devices unattended
  4. Follow these tips for internet privacy

Remember: No matter what the CIA and other surveillance groups choose to do, the power to remain anonymous remains with you.

Lexie is the blog's resident tech expert and gets excited about empowerment through technology, space travel, and pancakes with blueberries.