It looks like WIkiLeaks’ promise to work with tech companies to fix their security vulnerabilities may come with a few strings attached after all.
In a move that’s surprising to exactly no one, WikiLeaks has reportedly told Apple, Microsoft and Google that it won’t share details related to the CIA’s hacking techniques until the companies agree to a “a series of conditions,” according to a new report in Motherboard.
What those conditions are is is unclear. Motherboard reports one of its sources said one condition may be a 90-day disclosure deadline, which would require companies to patch vulnerabilities within a three-month timeframe.
It’s not clear if any of the tech companies plan to comply with Wikileaks’ demands.
Either way, the demands are somewhat of an about-face from comments Julian Assange made when he promised to work with the companies in the interest of protecting users. “We have decided to work with them, to give them some exclusive access to some of the technical details we have, so that fixes can be pushed out,” he said during a Facebook Live press conference last Thursday.
Microsoft and Mozilla both previously confirmed they had received emails from WikiLeaks last week but have not provided any update about further contact.
Apple and Google have said many — but, importantly, not all — of the vulnerabilities have already been patched.
What happens next is less clear. Corporate legal departments are apparently wrangling with WikiLeaks’ demands — details around the security vulnerabilities stem from a trove of CIA documents leaked earlier in the month — but may not have other options to find out the full extent of the CIA’s hacking techniques.