Although the most recent Wikileaks info dump blew the case wide open on a whole new can of goverment spy worms this past Tuesday, you can take comfort in the fact that the hackers tapping into your phones and secretly recording your private conversations aren’t just tech geeks–but anime gamers and giddy sci-fi fanboys.
Per Wikileaks, the CIA’s Android exploits reportedly have been able to remotely usurp control of devices in order to access users’ locations, texts, phone calls, and even camera and microphone functions. Potentially terrifying stuff, made decidedly less so by the agency’s code names for the invasive hacks. Apparently in the throes of last summer’s Pokémon Go frenzy, the hackers dubbed their exploits with monikers straight from the Pokédeck; nearly 1/3 of the hacks boasted namesakes like Spearow, Lugia, Totodile, Steelix, Snubbull and Flaaffy–to name a few. While the dirty “Dugtrio” hack dug into Android 4.1.2, the “Starmie” suckered onto Samsung tablets, Galaxy Notes, and Android 4.0-4.3 devices.
But it’s not just POKEMON earning homage from the hackers–the spies are also apparently big fans of the DOCTOR WHO reboot. A hack that implemented a “Fake Off” function to turn televisions into recording devices earned an appropriate nickname from one of the long-running show’s creepiest antagonists–the “Weeping Angel.”
In WHO canon, weeping angels are aliens that can strike only when you’re not looking at them–but as long as they’re not in your line of sight, you’re totally vulnerable to their timey-wimey attacks. Rather on-the-nose for a hack that works silently and invisibly on its unwitting subjects.
So while this new knowledge from Wikileaks could be evidence of, as CNET puts it, a “serious secruity breach in U.S. spycraft,” at least we’ve got some reciprocal dirt on the CIA.
They’re total geeks.