Wikileaks has released another portion of Vault 7 today called “Dark Matter.” In this telling release comes the story of the CIA’s involvement in bugging a number of Apple products, including iPhones and the Macbook Air.
In short, the leak exposes how the CIA infects Apple Mac computer firmware to gain ‘persistence’ on Apple devices, including laptops and phones. These projects have been developed by the CIA’s Embedded Development Branch (EDB).
WikiLeaks explains that this ‘bug’ allows an attacker/hacker to boot its attack software from a USB stick onto a device, even when a firmware password has been enabled. According to WiKiLeaks, the infector is stored in the Apple Thunderbolt-to-Ethernet adapter.
Essentially, the leak suggests the CIA is bugging iPhones from their factory fresh state and that, regardless of whether or not the user deletes or re-installs an operating system, their phone is bugged. Data can be collected, devices can be hacked, and so forth.
The full live stream press briefing about this release can be viewed here: LIVE: WikiLeaks press briefing in some minutes: CIA #Vault7 “darkmatter” ask questions with #AskWL https://t.co/ldG78exSsu
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) March 23, 2017
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) March 23, 2017
Below is WikiLeaks’ press release on the matter.
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.
Why Does This Matter?
We are learning the truth about what government agencies are doing behind the backs of citizens and without their approval. While it can be argued that these measures are taken for the sake of national security, there is much more at play here, and as Edward Snowden has always stated, the public deserves to know, and we all should decide whether or not this is right.
We are in a time when we are learning a great deal about the true workings of our world and governments, and the more we learn, the more questions we have — and rightly so. There is an ‘inconvenient truth’, if you will, that humanity is faced with and must begin to work through, and that is that we do not determine who is elected to our governments like we might think. Our governments are not who we think they are and do not have our best interests at heart.
We must accept this truth, because that is the only way we can begin to change our world and start creating one where humans can thrive. We have the capability to do so, but we must first take the manipulative forces out of the equation. Awareness of what is really going on is that first step. News stories like this help us begin asking those big questions that lead to understanding what’s really going on and then effecting change.
Elon Musk And Over 2400 AI Scientists Sign Pledge Against Killer Robots
- The Facts:
More than 2,400 AI scientists and researchers have signed a pledge which intends to deter military firms and nations from building lethal autonomous weapon systems (LAWS).
- Reflect On:
Are we as individuals, working together on shared concerns for all humans on the planet, starting to see the power we have to effect positive change?
It is not an uncommon story in the history of science and technology: the most brilliant and innovative minds of their time discover, create, and invent technologies that can have hugely positive benefits for mankind as a whole. Inevitably, the largest and wealthiest ‘consumer’ of such technologies is the Military-Industrial Complex, and the main ways these technologies are produced in our world are as tools of control, warfare, and human suffering.
In earlier times scientists and inventors didn’t have much say in how their work was used, and could often be persuaded that their use in military applications was actually for the benefit of humankind. Today, those naive days are gone, and the landscape is different. Some of the most prominent minds that are creating advanced technologies are starting to speak out more and more about how their work is being used in the world.
More Than 2400 Signatories
Elon Musk of SpaceX and Demis Hassabis at Google DeepMind are among more than 2,400 signatories to the pledge which intends to deter military firms and nations from building lethal autonomous weapon systems, also known as LAWS. The signatories are scientists who specialize in artificial intelligence, (AI) and have declared that they will not participate in the development or manufacture of robots that can identify and attack people without human oversight. The pledge was created by the Future of Life Institute:
LETHAL AUTONOMOUS WEAPONS PLEDGE
Artificial intelligence (AI) is poised to play an increasing role in military systems. There is an urgent opportunity and necessity for citizens, policymakers, and leaders to distinguish between acceptable and unacceptable uses of AI.
In this light, we the undersigned agree that the decision to take a human life should never be delegated to a machine. There is a moral component to this position, that we should not allow machines to make life-taking decisions for which others – or nobody – will be culpable. There is also a powerful pragmatic argument: lethal autonomous weapons, selecting and engaging targets without human intervention, would be dangerously destabilizing for every country and individual. Thousands of AI researchers agree that by removing the risk, attributability, and difficulty of taking human lives, lethal autonomous weapons could become powerful instruments of violence and oppression, especially when linked to surveillance and data systems. Moreover, lethal autonomous weapons have characteristics quite different from nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, and the unilateral actions of a single group could too easily spark an arms race that the international community lacks the technical tools and global governance systems to manage. Stigmatizing and preventing such an arms race should be a high priority for national and global security.
We, the undersigned, call upon governments and government leaders to create a future with strong international norms, regulations and laws against lethal autonomous weapons. These currently being absent, we opt to hold ourselves to a high standard: we will neither participate in nor support the development, manufacture, trade, or use of lethal autonomous weapons. We ask that technology companies and organizations, as well as leaders, policymakers, and other individuals, join us in this pledge.
The Power Of Public Shaming
The pledge hopes to amount to more than just words. In calling on countries to legislate laws, technology companies to not accept contracts, and individuals to voice their support against lethal autonomous weapons, they hope to sway public opinion overwhelmingly against LAWS, and in doing so shame any person or group who would go ahead with its development. There is some precedent for this approach working, according to Yoshua Bengio, an AI pioneer at the Montreal Institute for Learning Algorithms:
This approach actually worked for land mines, thanks to international treaties and public shaming, even though major countries like the US did not sign the treaty banning landmines. American companies have stopped building landmines.
The timing of this pledge is crucial. The military is one of the largest funders and adopters of AI technology. With advanced computer systems, robots can fly missions over hostile terrain, navigate on the ground, and patrol under seas. More sophisticated weapon systems are in the pipeline. Toby Walsh, a professor of AI at the University of New South Wales in Sydney who signed the pledge, had this to say about it:
We need to make it the international norm that autonomous weapons are not acceptable. A human must always be in the loop.
We cannot stop a determined person from building autonomous weapons, just as we cannot stop a determined person from building a chemical weapon. But if we don’t want rogue states or terrorists to have easy access to autonomous weapons, we must ensure they are not sold openly by arms companies.
Collective Consciousness Rising
This pledge is but one example of how people are implicating themselves in the future of the planet. No longer are we waiting on the sidelines and leaving decisions up to corporations, the military, or our political leaders. When we identify ourselves not as a race, culture or nation but as a planet, where all of humankind is considered part of the family, then we get to have greater access to the power of our collective consciousness. Once we harness that power, no initiative that is for the benefit of humanity is beyond our abilities.
The Flying Humanoid Phenomena Of Mexico
- The Facts:
There have been multiple reports over the years of bizarre activity in the skies of Mexico. People have claimed to be seeing flying humanoids in the sky. Though not fully verified as to what onlookers have seen, it is clear what they believe.
- Reflect On:
Experiences & stories such as this bring us to the question most of us have heard before, 'Are we alone?' What is the true nature of our reality? More importantly, what could this mean for us as a collective, as humanity?
Throughout time in mainstream media and the entertainment industry we have been programmed to see beings outside of human as dangerous, and for the most part there is a good chunk of fear-based propaganda to remind us of the potential danger if we were to encounter a visit.
Though new films and shows have been coming forth with a different perspective & narrative and new space forces are being declared, it is interesting to question the why. Stories of otherworldly visitors have been spread for centuries, and it is time we closely examine them with an open mind.
In this specific instance, an officer driving his patrol car in Mexico has seen a dark shape that he verified was, in fact, a “flying humanoid entity” which he described looked like a floating old woman, dressed in all black with dark skin and eyes that were “just black sockets, without eyelids.”
This startling apparition then apparently flew over to hover right in front of the vehicle and the stunned occupant within. He could see it better at this time, and noted that it was a hideous old woman that “resembled a witch.” Apparently annoyed by the car’s high beams, the witch then reportedly covered her face with some sort of cloak and then flew right into the vehicle’s windshield, causing the dumbfounded officer to go speeding back in reverse. He would explain the terrifying events like this:
As soon as I realized it was a kind of woman being, or a witch, very strange standing there trying to cover her face, she threw herself against my car very fast, falling on the car and hitting the windshield. She was flying very fast and it took only a second to hit the windshield glass. I was so shocked by this action that I put the car in reverse and pushed the accelerator trying to get away while requesting backup assistance by radio.
It was a woman with big black eyes, everything was black, no eyelids. Her skin was dark brown and her expression was horrible. She was furiously trying to get me with her claws while I was running away in reverse calling desperately for backup assistance to any units around.
If you would like to read more about why humanity is seemingly ‘obsessed’ with the ET phenomena at this time, please read more here and watch our latest video to dive deeper into the subject matter.
There Is More Than One Type Of Intelligence
- The Facts:
The current model of schooling puts emphasis on one particular type of education, which only covers a small percentage of the population of children. It also educates children in batches, assuming they are all ready for the same thing.
- Reflect On:
Is it time to reevaluate this method of schooling to be more inclusive to children with all types of other intellect and creative ability? Is our education system even bringing out the full potential in our children?
What was your experience in school like? Did you hate it or love it? Were you an all ‘A’ student and found it to be a breeze or did you struggle with understanding some of the subjects you were being taught?
The fact of the matter is, our modern education system is not catering to students as individuals, but lumping them all into the same category and expecting them to succeed, even at things they are not particularly good at or even interested in, while those who got the highest test scores were praised and reminded of their perceived superiority and intelligence.
Because of this, many children experience anxiety around tests because they have been taught over and over again that their value is determined by a letter grade and not their creative abilities. If one child has an amazing skill to write poetry, but then fails a math exam, the latter will be the topic that is looked at and how this failure can be turned around. Often telling the child they need to pay attention more in class or study longer, even though this particular topic may not be where the child’s intelligence lies. This system is designed strictly for children to learn how to memorize and regurgitate what they have learned in the form of tests, not giving much leeway for other talents and abilities.
Our modern-day schooling system was designed to train children into becoming the perfect employee, to sit at a desk perhaps, or follow orders effectively for when they are old enough to enter the workforce. The hours, little time for play, taking instructions from a person with authority and unfortunately, leaving little room for exploring creative abilities. This system, in reality, only caters to a small percentage of people in the world, and because of this, we are effectively killing the creative potential that exists within all human beings.
The following video from Sustainable Human sums this up quite nicely.
As it says in the video, “How did we get to the point where we decided the best way to school our children is to sit them behind a desk and insist they keep still?”
Children are meant to play, to explore, to observe, to stumble, to be curious, to ask questions, to find answers, to learn from others and as they go. Sitting them in a desk seems far from natural, yet this is something that to this day we still accept as normal and see it as, ‘just the way it is.’ However, it hasn’t actually been that long that this has been our generally accepted method of schooling.
“If a kid is failing, it is not the kids fault, the fault is within the system.”
Let us not forget that there are MANY forms of intelligence and it’s time we embraced every single one. The schooling system as we know it, needs an overhaul.
Let’s get this discussion started over in the Collective Evolution Group on Facebook.
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