Wikileaks Releases "NightSkies 1.2": Proof CIA Bugs "Factory Fresh" iPhones

Tyler Durden's picture

The latest leaks from WikiLeaks' Vault 7 is titled “Dark Matter” and claims that the CIA has been bugging “factory fresh” iPhones since at least 2008 through suppliers.  The full documents are expected to be released after a 10 a.m. EDT “press briefing” that WikiLeaks promoted on its Twitter.

Here is a live stream of the pending press briefing with Julian Assange:

And here is the full press release from WikiLeaks:

Today, March 23rd 2017, WikiLeaks releases Vault 7 "Dark Matter", which contains documentation for several CIA projects that infect Apple Mac Computer firmware (meaning the infection persists even if the operating system is re-installed) developed by the CIA's Embedded Development Branch (EDB). These documents explain the techniques used by CIA to gain 'persistence' on Apple Mac devices, including Macs and iPhones and demonstrate their use of EFI/UEFI and firmware malware.


Among others, these documents reveal the "Sonic Screwdriver" project which, as explained by the CIA, is a "mechanism for executing code on peripheral devices while a Mac laptop or desktop is booting" allowing an attacker to boot its attack software for example from a USB stick "even when a firmware password is enabled". The CIA's "Sonic Screwdriver" infector is stored on the modified firmware of an Apple Thunderbolt-to-Ethernet adapter.


"DarkSeaSkies" is "an implant that persists in the EFI firmware of an Apple MacBook Air computer" and consists of "DarkMatter", "SeaPea" and "NightSkies", respectively EFI, kernel-space and user-space implants.


Documents on the "Triton" MacOSX malware, its infector "Dark Mallet" and its EFI-persistent version "DerStake" are also included in this release. While the DerStake1.4 manual released today dates to 2013, other Vault 7 documents show that as of 2016 the CIA continues to rely on and update these systems and is working on the production of DerStarke2.0.


Also included in this release is the manual for the CIA's "NightSkies 1.2" a "beacon/loader/implant tool" for the Apple iPhone. Noteworthy is that NightSkies had reached 1.2 by 2008, and is expressly designed to be physically installed onto factory fresh iPhones. i.e the CIA has been infecting the iPhone supply chain of its targets since at least 2008.


While CIA assets are sometimes used to physically infect systems in the custody of a target it is likely that many CIA physical access attacks have infected the targeted organization's supply chain including by interdicting mail orders and other shipments (opening, infecting, and resending) leaving the United States or otherwise.

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Anarchyteez's picture

APPL puts this morning.

Infinite QE's picture

Steve Jobs' cancer. I can't see Jobs going along with the ZIA, he even hated having license plates so he swapped his car out every 30 days to keep the temporary plates.


daveO's picture

That's not encouraging. The last guy who tired to break into my house had a temporary tag. He spent 3.5 years in prison. He just got out last summer. I'm waiting for him to come back. We have the Stand Your Ground law now.

Bavarian's picture

Apple has every right to go after them with a class action suit and shut down that program and sue the government for untold billions.  That's highly illegal commercial tampering executed by the US government for which, I would bet, no oversight committee has been aware of.

Trump ought to use this to shut down the CIA and investigate deply into their programs.  Cut off funding immediately and keep DIA running to protect the nation. 

This is an assault on all citizen's freedoms. 

Misean's picture

Two words for ya. Sovereign Immunity.

chubbar's picture

It's not sovereign immunity if the CIA did it without permission of Congressional oversight. The CIA doesn't have carte blanche to do any fucking thing they feel like, whether constitutional or not. I'll tell you this, no oversight committee would ever approve of just bugging every fucking device a manufacturor sold, they sure as shit wouldn't put their names on it in any event. So no, that defense isn't going to work. You know that these assholes at CIA just do whatever the fuck they want because no one has ever successfully stood up to them, maybe this is the chink in their armor that Trump can use to disembowel them. They are all traitors if they think this shit is OK.

Deathrips's picture

Since the government can only spend money they take from the people, suing them would be an extra tax for us tax sheep.



Withdrawn Sanction's picture

If the company wont rise to its own defense, iPhone users and some clever Lawyers should sue on behalf of users. 

And sovereign immunity does not protect against willful criminal acts....neither does "national security." 

Muad'Grumps's picture

Did they brownstone Jobs? And then slowkilled him? It seems he was the last one to get on board with the Deep State.

NotBuyingIt's picture

I'd bet an ounce of gold on it. I believe Jobs saw through a lot of this bullshit. After all, he was gamed by Gates (who was a CIA cut-out) from the beginning. He knew the score, he fought - and he paid with his life.

Withdrawn Sanction's picture

And both companies stole their source code for the GUI and mouse from Xerox at the Palo Alto Research Park. 

okyoureabeast's picture

Is anyone seriously surprised by this? This has been well known in tech circles about the dangers of UEFI devices for several years (2007). The running gag was that the CIA knows everything.

Never assume anything you transmit over the internet is secure. Nothing in the electronic ether is secure.

And what's with these Dr. Who references? First we had "weeping angels" the next it's a Sonic Screwdriver. It sounds like these hacks are either coming from GCHQ or there are a lot of who fans working for the agency.

SgtShaftoe's picture

It's not called the "5 eyes" for nothing. Those eyes are all connected to the same totalitarianism ridden and rotten brain.

JustTheTTIP's picture

From what I recall it has been confirmed that these hacks come from all over the place including GCHQ and the german BND.

NotBuyingIt's picture

Just a bunch of Nerd Virgins who get off on watching normies have sex and live their lives. These people are basically sick. It's disgusting to say the least.

Withdrawn Sanction's picture

"These people are basically sick."

Agreed, and that conclusion applies to anyone in the so-called intelligence services.  To see this, ask yourself, what type of mentality would be attracted to that type of "work" in the first place (where you're a voyeur, a murderer, or one who analyzes the work of such types)?  Second, who would stay once they saw what really happens in such places?   Answering both questions leads you to the inescapable conclusion these services ARE populated by mentally ill people through a process of self-selection.  Consequently, we get the intelligence "service" that only a madhouse would/could provide. 

Herdee's picture

The CIA gets off on watching everyone have sex on the couch in front of their smart Samsung TV's. Even if turned off they can listen to you, same thing with your cell phone. The GPS on your car tells them where you go. Even shopping when you use your card, they can tell what you wipe your ass with.

Cardinal Fang's picture

And that! Is why I don't pay for toilet paper with a credit card.

shovelhead's picture

Pretty bad when you get a message on your phone:

Charmin on sale at Kroeger. Stop using that cheap stuff. Your friend at CIA.

sudzee's picture

I'm wondering if the 17 security agencies are selling info to manipulate the market to fund themselves. If so there is a probability of DOW 50,000 in the near future.

Fiscal.Enema's picture

Just remember that the C.I.A. and Central Bank(s) -Bankers- are working together against YOU!

NotBuyingIt's picture

Yep, you got that right. It's only gonna stop when we beat them down - or die trying.

Cardinal Fang's picture

Before this is over, it's gonna turn out that my HP printer was programmed by the Chicoms to bleep and shuttle the cartridge back and forth 3 times every time I want to print something was a commie plot to sap my productivity and that of millions of Americans simultaneously...

I knew it, I fucking knew it!

ConnectingTheDots's picture

I have always felt that the surveillance agencies had installed backdoors into the operating systems such as Apple, Windows, Android, etc. This article confirms my fears and another conspiracy THEORY becomes conspiracy FACT. I believe that the actors within the surveillance state also "persuade" the antivirus companies to install backdoors as well. What a great system, have the victims install regularly updated surveillance software on their systems for you and have this software ignore everything you do to watch them.

That is why I use Kaspersky anti-virus. While it too may be compromised, it is probably more secure than our own "loyal American" company products. The sad part is that I trust a Russian company more than I trust an American one since it is less susceptible to "persuasion" from our government.

I use Linux as much as possible, because at least it is open source and can be checked by a community of real people who do not sell their souls by tying themselves to the government surveillance state.

Any corporation (or individual) that uses the "cloud" for storage of important information should have their heads examined.

Sandmann's picture

In 2011 General Atlantic bought a 20 percent share of Kaspersky Lab for $200 million, with the expectation of helping the company go public. A few months later, the decision was made to keep the firm private and Kaspersky re-purchased the shares from General Atlantic.[24][25][26] This was followed by numerous executive departures in 2011 and 2014 regarding disputes over going public and over Eugene's management style respectively.[

Misean's picture

Felt?!?! You're obviously NOT in I.T.

As to Linux all I have to say is Systemd. Google it. Learn.

me or you's picture

Systemd is open source you can modify it.

Misean's picture

Go ahead and try. See how far you get. It's a maze and it's open source but not open notes. How are your C skills these days. It's quite massive, and every "APP" is plugging into it. So go ahead, change something and watch your machine brick.

You gonna run an applicatrion server on linux with binaries requiring systemd and modify it yourself and hand your head to your boss when 10,000 customers apps suddenly stop working? Or are you going to use Red Hat Enterprise, or SuSe or CentOS or Ubuntu and pass some of that liability to the guys who ACTUALLY wrote the open source software the company you work for needs 24/7/365 .99999?

I always love this lame ass retort. Like systemd is some little shell script. We had init, it worked fine. It also allowed I.T. pro's to customize things EASILY with some bash, python or perl. Nuff said. BSD's baby, that's where I'm at.

GeezerGeek's picture

Please be aware that, with Windows 10, running a third party anti-virus may actually increase the attack surface of your PC. There is a good bit of discussion concerning such in some security circles. If you are deemed a threat, they can infect you if your machine is turned on. Do some research on the recent Pwn2Own hacking contest. And FWIW, if you like writing your congresscritters please take time to tell them to NEVER outlaw attempts to subvert code. There are plenty of white hats out there doing just that who find and publicize all these nefarious exploits.

spanish inquisition's picture

Maybe need to go backward. Hard code operating system onto a CD that feeds into a memory just big enough to run it.

Duc888's picture



DSL (Damned small linux) on a USB pen drive....everything you need to browse the web...etc...

A. Boaty's picture

Join the Apple core.

Mr. Crisp's picture

Ok, let's list the things the CIA/NSA/whoever else hasn't bugged (yet):

No.2 pencils (although they're working on that, those 2nd graders could be a threat to national security)


Plastic knives and forks

drewski1000's picture

After the British bridge incident a few days back, they've outlawed plastic knives and forks.  You can take that off the list.

GRDguy's picture

No wonder that government(s) see to it that Apple stock does so well.

Solio's picture

The Thought Police have spoken: since you have an unending stream of them, you're guilty!

trippy64's picture

If this is true, why couldnt they use all of this to open that iphone belonging to that San Bernandino terrorist guy a couple years back? Seems it would have been available to them.

NotBuyingIt's picture

They obviously could. Comey was playing some head game with the American Public, probably trying to get us to accept the full domination of the Feral Bureau of Incompetents. I hate Comey with the white hot intensity of 1000 suns, And I loathe all of these "intel" fucks almost as much.

Eddielaidler's picture

ZZZZ. When they can put a bug up my ass let me know. Since that's the only thing I can talk out of.

semperfi's picture

when was your last colonoscopy ?

Cardinal Fang's picture

Lol, and under Obamacare there is an electronic record of it available to up, micro chip.

So, ironically, they will do a colonoscopy, put it on a chip and inject it into your body under the guise of Obamacare and having portable medical records...

Just in case of emergency room visit.

it's for your own good...

Cardinal Fang's picture

Lol, and under Obamacare there is an electronic record of it available to up, micro chip.

So, ironically, they will do a colonoscopy, put it on a chip and inject it into your body under the guise of Obamacare and having portable medical records...

Just in case of emergency room visit.

it's for your own good...

loveyajimbo's picture

Brennan needs to be prosecuted for this and his COUP in Ukraine... and probably many others violations and betrayals... he is one VILE maggot. 

BTW: The DOJ nees to start prosecuting shitbags who perjure themselves in a congressional hearing, like the sewer roach Clapper and the Colostomy bag Hillary, or are found in contempt like the maggot-ape Holder.

TRUMP:  Prosecute the Clinton's NOW... or admit that you are a NWO puppet.

Withdrawn Sanction's picture

Wasn't Brennan the one who converted to Islam while on station in Riyadh?

Soph's picture

I always find this discussion humorous. Blackberry died, in part, because it was secure and these sorts of tricks by government were much harder to pull on that platform. There was a reason all governments USED BB after all, or outlawed it. The move away from it was just an example of the complacency of the sheeple.

It's much more important to be able to have funky ring tones, play poki-whateverthefuck-man, have iTunes or Android circle jerks with all your friends, tweating, facepalming, snapchatting, or whatever the latest example of insta-gratification from your portable, state sponsored, stimulation device is.

Security? Privacy? People stopped truly giving a shit about that long ago, or at least their actions give evey indication they did.

With the move to Google and Apple dominated product lines, cell phones truly became personal tracking and monitoring devices that just happen to make phone calls. In recent years they have included the very important, and entriely mindless, features and apps to insure the sheeple stay fully stimulated by their tracking/monitoring devices. They're electronic crack, nothing more. And the state sponsored corporate crack dealers (Google and Apple) insure you stay hooked so the state can keep you (potentially) monitored. 

George Orwell's head would explode if he were alive today.

me or you's picture

Totally I agree with you. If you get yourselves a BB go for it.