Wikileaks: CIA Stuxnet-Like Attacks Hacked Unconnected PCs Via USB

Julian Assange’s Wikileaks continues to reveal CIA attacks, this time a sophisticated method for jumping “air-gapped” computers. (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)

The latest release from the Wikileaks Vault7 files, widely believed to contain details on the hacking techniques of the CIA, has revealed malware aimed at infecting so-called “air-gapped” PCs, those computers not connected to the internet, using USB sticks. The hacks exposed by Julian Assange’s organization Thursday exploit vulnerabilities similar to those used in the infamous Stuxnet attacks, believed to have been perpetrated by the US and Israel to infect nuclear plants in Iran, which also used thumb drives to spread into critical systems.

Wikileaks’ “Brutal Kangaroo” leak includes an array of manuals allegedly from the CIA’s Information Operations Unit. One user guide dated February 2016 explained how the Brutal Kangaroo suite included “Drifting Deadline,” malware designed to first infect a

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