What is CherryBlossom? Wikileaks says hacking tool used by CIA to spy on WiFi routers for years

The CIA has been accused of using spy tools to target specific systems and networks Reuters/Larry Downing

Wikileaks in its latest dump has revealed yet another spying tool used by the CIA, which it claims was created to intercept WiFi routers and was being used for years,

Named CherryBlossom, the project was allegedly developed and implemented with the help of the US nonprofit Stanford Research Institute (SRI International) for monitoring online activity and evaluating software exploits of targets that could be used as a weapon later. It particularly focused on wireless devices like routers and access points to gain access to user systems.

Wi-Fi devices used in homes, public spaces, small- and medium-sized companies as well as enterprise offices were all part of the project. Once the network is accessed, the administrator can easily monitor, control and manipulate the Internet traffic of connected users.

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The malicious codes can also be injected into the stream to exploit vulnerabilities in applications or the operating system as a whole. The CherryBlossom firmware requires no physical access to the targeted device and once in, the administrator can scan for email addresses, chat usernames as well as VoIP numbers that pass through the network.

The latest documents are part of an ongoing series of leaks released by WikiLeaks, revealing the work of the CIA's elite hacking unit, dubbed the Engineering Development Group. Among the dump are scores of files with user manuals and other "secret"-marked maps and charts revealing several hacking tool suites, which allowed the agency to target individual and networks.

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