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Assange says will provide details of CIA hacking to tech companies

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange (C) addresses media and supporters from the balcony of Ecuador's embassy in central London, on February 5, 2016
Jack Taylor (AFP/File)

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on Thursday said he would provide tech companies with information on CIA hacking in order to improve devices' security.

He said his anti-secrecy website had "a lot more information" about the Central Intelligence Agency's hacking operation but would hold off on publishing it until WikiLeaks had spoken to tech manufacturers about fixes.

"We have decided to work with them to give them some exclusive access to the additional technical details we have so fixes can be developed and then pushed out.

Assange further accused the CIA of "devastating incompetence" for keeping hacking secrets in one place and said he would work with tech giants to develop fixes after he leaked them.

"This is a historic act of devastating incompetence, to have created such an arsenal and then stored it all in one place," Assange told a press conference streamed live from Ecuador's embassy in London, where he has been living as a fugitive from justice since 2012.

On Tuesday, WikiLeaks published nearly 9,000 documents it said were part of a huge trove leaked from the CIA, describing it as the largest-ever publication of secret intelligence materials.

"This extraordinary collection, which amounts to more than several hundred million lines of code, gives its possessor the entire hacking capacity of the CIA," it said.

The documents showed that CIA hackers can turn a TV into a listening device, bypass popular encryption apps, and possibly control people's car.

Most experts believe the materials to be genuine, and US media said Wednesday that the Federal Bureau of Investigation is opening a criminal probe into the leak.

(Staff with AFP) 

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