WikiLeaks released new documents on Thursday within the Vault 7 documents, which contain information on CIA’s hacking tools from the Dumbo project, a system that manipulates devices such as webcams and microphones on Microsoft Windows-operating systems. The program also corrupts video recordings, according to the leaked documents.
“Dumbo is a capability to suspend processes utilizing webcams and corrupt any video recordings that could compromise a PAG deployment.
The PAG (Physical Access Group) is a special branch within the CCI (Center for Cyber Intelligence); its task is to gain and exploit physical access to target computers in CIA field operations,” WikiLeaks said in a press release.
The tool allows for the identification, control and manipulation of the monitoring and detection systems, like webcams and microphones, on a target computer running the Microsoft Windows operating system. It requires a direct access to the computer as it is run from an USB stick.
“All processes related to the detected devices (usually recording, monitoring or detection of video/audio/network streams) are also identified and can be stopped by the operator. By deleting or manipulating recordings the operator is aided in creating fake or destroying actual evidence of the intrusion operation,” the press release specified.
The earliest Dumbo document released by WikiLeaks is dated June 25, 2012. The Tool Delivery Review document states that the system’s capabilities are being requested by the CIA’s special branch to “deter home security systems that may identify officers or prevent operations.”
A user guide dated June 2015 sets out Dumbo’s capacity to mute microphones, disable all network adapters, and suspend camera recording. The program notifies its operator of any files to which those processes were actively writing so that they may be selectively corrupted or deleted.
WikiLeaks suggests that by deleting or manipulating recordings the operator can create fake – or destroy real – evidence of their intrusion into the device.
The documents say Dumbo operates on 32bit Windows XP, Windows Vista, and newer versions of the Windows operating system, but is not supported for 64bit Windows XP, or Windows versions prior to XP.