>> Wikileaks founder, Julian Assange, on Thursday saying he will provide tech companies exclusive access to CIA hacking tools it possesses, so they can patch the flaws. That message coming in a live video stream only two days after Wikileaks dropped a trove of documents, describing CIA hacking tools that could spy using our iPhones, Android phones, smart TVs, and other gadgets.
Reuters cyber-security reporter, Joseph Menn.>> Assange has inserted himself into this sort of low-level but long running debate about what the government should do with vulnerabilities in software. There's always a tension between the ones that holds back for spying purposes, and giving them to the company so they can patch it and protect everybody.
And there are a lot of factors that go into it, including whether they think they're the only ones that know about the vulnerability. Or whether the Russians, the Chinese, somebody else have also found the same one, cuz they use similar techniques. There are a lot of different factors.
>> Google, Apple, and Samsung among those subject to a tax described in the WikiLeaks documents, didn't immediately respond to requests for comment. Microsoft and Cisco said they welcome submissions of any vulnerabilities through normal reporting channels. And Microsoft suggested using its firstname.lastname@example.org email. Several tech companies, including Apple, have already said they're confident their recent security updates have already patched the alleged flaws described in the CIA documents.
Sources told Reuters on Wednesday that intelligence agencies have been aware since the end of last year of a breach at the CIA which led to Wikileaks' data dump, and that contractors were likely behind it.