Russia says US spy agencies must be held fully accountable following the recent revelations about the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)’s hacking techniques, adding that if found to be true the acts of espionage by Washington represent “a great” danger to the world.
“If this information is confirmed, it would be desirable for the US security services to respond fully and adequately to the released documents with specific facts,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told a briefing Friday.
“And if this information is confirmed, then this is a great danger to the world and international security," she added.
On March 7, whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks published the first part of the Vault 7 series, which constituted thousands of documents from the CIA that purportedly revealed the agency’s hacking and spying secrets.
The leaked files show that US spy agency appeared to have developed or collected techniques to hack into Mac OS X, Windows, Linux computer operating systems, as well as Android and iOS software for mobile phones. The agency had also apparently devised a technique to target smart TV sets, having them record audio and send it to CIA servers.
The whistle-blowing website says the Vault 7 series will be the biggest leak of secret CIA data.
“If this information is correct, and we periodically learn that what the US special services are doing and amusing themselves with has always been confirmed… it is extremely dangerous, first of all from the standpoint of simply undermining the existing system of international relations," Zakharova said.
“Accordingly, if these actions are confirmed, they simply undermine the trust that has been built with such difficulty between the countries," she emphasized.
The Kremlin has already said that it will take into account leaks about US attempts to wiretap Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“We naturally turned our attention to these published data together with the entire international community. Of course, they deserve attention and they must be carefully read," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters Thursday.
He added, however, that the latest leaks were nothing new.
“As you know, in Washington they do not hide the fact that they actively wiretap Russian officials. They wiretap our Ambassador [Sergei] Kislyak and so on. No one is hiding this. Therefore, one does not need opening WikiLeaks, one could have guessed," Peskov noted.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has also described the revelations as “quite plausible.”
“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 on Thursday.
The US has yet to confirm the authenticity of the leaks, but the White House has slammed the release of data, calling for those responsible for the revelations to be held accountable.
Edward Snowden, former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor turned whistleblower, says the leaks appeared “authentic” and “a big deal.”