Lots of info here about the first installment of Vault 7, background, theories and the infamous hidden photo.
Take what you need, leave the rest. Lots of intrigue and questions being brought up
What Is WikiLeaks’ Vault 7? Photos & Clues
After releasing a series of very cryptic #Vault7 messages in early February, WikiLeaks has finally released a file that contains the mysterious Vault 7. The file won’t be readable until tomorrow, when WikiLeaks releases a passphrase at 9 a.m. Eastern. However, WikiLeaks released a new clue about Vault 7, hidden in its tweet. Here’s everything we know about Vault 7 so far, along with theories about what might be waiting for us in the morning.
And by the way, according to a tweet WikiLeaks sent out later, this is the first in a series of releases related to Vault 7:
[UPDATE: WikiLeaks released the passphrase an hour early. We now know that Vault 7 is about the CIA. Read an updated story all about Vault 7 here.]
Here’s what you need to know about Vault 7.
There’s a Hidden Photo in WikiLeaks’ Tweet
WikiLeaks’ Vault 7 tweet contained a hidden message, because the background isn’t just a black frame. In fact, it’s a photo that has been darkened.
Lighten it a little and you see this:
The photo says “Prefecture” beneath the world “Vault.” Some think it reads Prefecture 333, but it actually reads Prefecture 353. We found the source of the photo. But first, here are the guesses that were wrong:
Some believe that the photo appears to be of Kryptos, a sculpture outside the CIA headquarters in Langley. The sculpture, by James Sanborn, includes four encrypted messages. Since it was dedicated on November 3, 1990, three out of four of the messages have been solved. Here’s a photo of the sculpture below. However, this is not the sculpture in WikiLeaks’ photo.
Others say the photo is actually this sculpture in the D.C. Convention Center.
We found out what it actually is. The photo is “Lingua,” one of two art pieces at the registration area of the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. This is the photo that WikiLeaks used, courtesy of Flickr’s open source library:
As you can see, WikiLeaks did not edit the Prefecture part into the photo. The sculpture already reads “Prefecture 353 A.D.” So no, unlike what some theories have surmised, this is not related to China’s 333 prefecture-level cities.
What happened in 353 AD? There was the Battle of Mons Seleucus, where Emperor Constantius II defeated Magnentius, who committed suicide in Gaul to avoid capture. Constantius then reunified the Roman Empire. Constantius II sent his official, Catena, to Britain to kill opponents supporting Magnentius. Martinus committed suicide after failing to kill Catena.
As far as the Year Zero part of the tweet, some surmised that it could mean that the information is so huge that it could feel like “restarting” part of history once it’s released. However, according to a later tweet by WikiLeaks, it actually means that it’s the first in a series of releases that WikiLeaks plans for Vault 7.
Vault 7 Is About a CIA Global Hacking Program
WikiLeaks summarized some important points in a press release about Vault 7. These are a new series of leaks on the CIA and “the largest ever publication of confidential documents on the agency,” WikiLeaks explained. This first part in the series has 8,761 documents and files from a high-security network at Langley. WikiLeaks explained that it didn’t hack the CIA. Somehow, the CIA lost control of most of its hacking arsenal (malware, viruses, trojans, etc.) — amounting to several hundred million lines of code — in an archive that was circulated among former U.S. government hackers and contractors. WikiLeaks was given “portions” of the archive.
According to WikiLeaks’ press release, “Year Zero” exposes the CIA’s covert hacking program, including exploits against products like iPhone, Android, Windows, and Samsung TVs. The CIA has an extensive hacking division, WikiLeaks said, which is composed over over 5,000 registered users and more than a thousand hacking systems and malware. WikiLeaks’ press release adds that its source is questioning the scope of the CIA’s hacking and if it exceeds mandated powers. The leak, WikiLeaks said, was meant to “initiate public debate about the security, creation, use, proliferation, and democratic control of cyberweapons.”
Read even more about Vault 7 in the story below:
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