Anti-secrecy organization Wikileaks published Thursday another collection of files purportedly from the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the latest of which focuses on a framework used to infect machines using Windows operating systems.
The release unveiled a CIA program called Angelfire, which consists of a five-part framework that can maintain a persistent backdoor on an infected machine and execute custom implants that give the agency additional access to the device.
Angelfire operates in five parts, each of which allowing the intelligence agency to lodge itself deeper into an infected machine to maintain access to files and information on the targeted device. The first component of the Angelfire framework is called Solartime. This tool is used to modify the boot sector partition of a machine’s hard drive—effectively giving the CIA access to the part of the drive that is accessed every time the computer boots up.
Solartime is used to provide access to Wolfcreek, a kernel code that is executed after Solartime has modified the boot drive. Wolfcreek is a self-loading driver that implants drivers and other applications that can be used by CIA agents to manipulate the machine.
Part of the Wolfcreek driver is another component known as Keystone. Keystone uses a dynamic-link library (DLL) injection to execute malicious code directly on the computer system’s memory without accessing the file system. This allows the attack to evade security tools that scan file systems and allows the CIA to execute malicious applications.
Another component of Angelfire is BadMFS, a library used to create an undetected file system on the machine’s drive. The file system is used as a repository for other CIA drivers and implants that can be executed by Wolfcreek. Files in BadMFS are encrypted and obfuscated to avoid detection.
The final component of Angelfire is the Windows Transitory File system, which is used by a CIA operator to create files for specific actions within the framework. It can be used for adding or removing files without being noticed by the user.
According to the documents, the CIA implant could be used to infect the 32-bit version of Windows XP and Windows 7. A version designed to compromise 64-bit machines could be used to infect Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7.
The user guide for the tools published by WikiLeaks have a change log but it contains no dates, so it is unclear what period the Angelfire tools were active. The most recent version was compatible with Windows 7, released in 2009. It is also not clear if the tool has undergone additional updates or is still in use by the CIA.
The release is the latest from WikiLeaks as part of its Vault 7 series, which has focused on releasing leaked documents from the CIA detailing the government agency’s technical capabilities.
Earlier, another revelation published by WikiLeaks revealed the CIA created a program used to spy on other intelligence agencies that participated in the CIA’s biometric data collection system.
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