Skip to navigationSkip to content

The CIA appears to have copied instructions from Reddit on how to hack Windows

Not a new idea.
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

WikiLeaks released nearly 9,000 documents and files on Tuesday, allegedly from an internal CIA knowledge base, which describe tools that can be used to hack into myriad devices and applications. One of those documents is a blog post on how to hack user accounts on Windows.

Users of the Reddit section called r/netsec, a subreddit about network security, quickly noticed that the blog post had been copied from a link that was posted to Reddit two years ago. The discovery came after a user searched for references to Reddit in the document dump, and posted a link to the WikiLeaks page in a comment on r/netsec, pointing out the connection.

“It means that CIA security personnel also read this sub[reddit],” one user said. “It’s a great sub.” That user included a link to the Reddit post that linked to the original article. The document on WikiLeaks references both.

“Imagine being Parvez (the author of that blog post) right now,” another user mused. “How often do you see ‘CIA utilized a technical write-up authored by me’ on a resume?”

The r/netsec subreddit is a popular hub for people interested in hacking and computer security, so it would make sense for CIA techies to keep tabs on it. Links to it show up on several documents in the WikiLeaks release, including a reading list described by its author as “a list of websites I like to check out to stay up to date and get new ideas.”

Here’s that reading list in full: along with all the other good subreddits (RE, forensics)

Government officials have not confirmed that the documents are authentic.

📬 Kick off each morning with coffee and the Daily Brief (BYO coffee).

By providing your email, you agree to the Quartz Privacy Policy.