Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says Moscow considers the information recently leaked about the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)’s hacking techniques as “quite plausible.”
The website WikiLeaks said on Tuesday that it had obtained and published thousands of documents from the CIA that purportedly revealed the agency’s hacking and spying secrets. According to the leaks, the CIA sneaks into high-tech phones and televisions to spy on users around the world.
Lavrov said at a press conference on Thursday that Moscow had to take into account the information made public by the website.
“As for reports on the CIA’s hacking arsenal, of course, we saw them… I proceed from the assumption that experts consider this information quite plausible,” Lavrov said.
The Russian diplomat said that Moscow had “to take into account everything we become aware of.”
He also said that he did not use his own smartphone to talk about “sensitive issues” to avoid being spied on.
“I myself try not to bring any phones to talks regarding sensitive issues,” Lavrov said. “At least, I seem to have managed not to get into any unpleasant situations for now.”
The leaked documents purportedly showed that the CIA routinely used techniques that enabled its hackers to disguise themselves as hacking groups based in Russia
and other countries.
Lavrov referred to past accusations that Russia hacked US systems and said the information recently leaked shed some light on how those allegations could be wrong, as Moscow has previously maintained.
“When we were accused of something, the Russian hackers’ ‘fingerprints’ were cited as evidence,” he said, adding, “Now, it becomes known that the CIA is capable of getting access to such fingerprints, and the agency consequently must have used it.”
In theory, the hacking technique enables the CIA to fake digital forensic fingerprints to make Russia look guilty of infiltrating computer systems.
Most recently, the US accused Russian hackers of having gained illicit access to the Democratic National Committee (DNC)’s systems in an attempt to leak potentially compromising information on the Democratic Party and tilt the recent US presidential election in favor of the Republicans.