Wikileaks’ latest trove of data seems to have both tech-industry workers and citizens in a frenzy. If these documents from the Vault 7 release are real, as Wikileaks claims, the CIA has the ability to hack PCs, smart phones, smart TVs and tons of applications. What does this mean for you?
Should you be concerned?
Probably—if all of these documents are real. Still, this doesn’t mean the CIA is constantly monitoring your activity or watching you watch TV. It simply means if they wanted to, they could.
Now, I’d love to pull a Ron Swanson and go rogue, get off the grid, abandon technology and camp out in the woods until security is fortified. But I live in Chicago and work at a tech company, so I don’t see that as a very practical option.
Instead, I’ll do all I can to secure my devices, read the news to find vulnerabilities and do my best to adapt accordingly.
Federal agencies may have the ability to bypass common endpoint protection software technologies, but these products still may be our best bet in keeping our private data confidential.
Every device you have (your cell phone, laptop, smart TV, etc.) is an endpoint, and every endpoint has vulnerabilities. Endpoint protection software encrypts data, monitors intrusions, creates firewalls and, most importantly, protects against zero-day attacks.
Zero-day vulnerabilities are holes in software that are unknown to the manufacturer or developer. The Wikileaks documents show a variety of zero-day vulnerabilities in dozens of endpoints and applications.
According to Wikileaks, this is just the first portion of seven individual document sets. Luckily, Wikileaks has said it will not be releasing the actual code for these zero-day exploits to the public. Instead, it will give them to vendors to help them secure their products.
Malwarebytes has the highest Satisfaction score of any product in the category. It protects against zero-day exploits, malware, ransomeware and adware, according to its website. It also offers different versions for personal, business, finance and healthcare purposes.
Avast was next on the list, with the second highest Satisfaction rating in the category. The product doesn’t advertise defense against zero day vulnerabilities, but it does provide antivirus, firewall and server protection tools.
Symantec is third overall, with the second highest Market Presence score and the eighth highest Satisfaction score. The product has been a leader in the industry for more than a decade and provides a variety of features to protect against known, unknown and zero-day threats.