WikiLeaks has published another batch of documents from Vault 7 leak, that details how the CIA spies on other intelligence agencies, including FBI, DHS and the NSA, to gather data from their systems.
The CIA allows partner agencies to voluntary share biometric data using biometric collection system it provides. CIA leverages a predefined hardware, operating system, and software and allows the sharing of collected biometric data on their systems with each other.
The bad news for CIA partners is that the CIA Office of Technical Services (OTS) developed a tool to secretly exfiltrate data collections from their systems.
ExpressLane is the codename for the CIA project of the spying software for its biometric system.
The CIA agents manually install the spying system as part of a routine upgrade to the Biometric system.
“The OTS (Office of Technical Services), a branch within the CIA, has a biometric collection system that is provided to liaison services around the world — with the expectation for sharing of the biometric takes collected on the systems. But this ‘voluntary sharing’ obviously does not work or is considered insufficient by the CIA, because ExpressLane is a covert information collection tool that is used by the CIA to secretly exfiltrate data collections from such systems provided to liaison services.” states Wikileaks.
The OTS officers, who maintain biometric collection systems installed at partner services, visit their premises and secretly install the ExpressLane Trojan while displaying an “upgrade Installation screen with a progress bar that appears to be upgrading the biometric software.”
” If the biometric system has already been given to Liaison, ExpressLane 3.1.1 will be installed as part of an upgrade to the biometric system by the OTS officers who maintain it. This new version of ExpressLane contains an Upgrade Installation screen with a progress bar that appears to be upgrading the biometric software for a period of time.” states the user guide.
“This installation program, however, is not upgrading any of the biometric software. OTS requested this capability as part of their cover for action. The installation time for the upgrade can be pre-determined by an OTS officer before running the program in front of the liaison service. While the upgrade screen is running, ExpressLane kicks off acollection to a watermarked thumb drive. If the OTS officers have files for the biometric software that need to be updated, ExpressLane 3.1.1 will copy those files to specific
locations as well.”
” ExpressLane 3.1.1 will overtly appear to be just another part of this system. It is
called: MOBSLangSvc.exe and is stored in \Windows\System32. ” leaked CIA documents read.
“Covertly it will collect the data files of interest from the liaison system and store them encrypted in the covert partition on a specially watermarked thumb drive when it is inserted into the system.”
ExpressLane is composed of two utilities:
According to the documents, the latest version ExpressLane 3.1.1 by default removes itself after six months of the installation. The OTA officers can anyway change the date for the automatic removal.
Below the list of release published by Wikileaks since March:
(Security Affairs – Wikileaks, ExpressLane)