Wikileaks shows CIA developed covert biometrics sharing too
25 August 2017 14:15 GMT

New files published by Wikileaks detail a CIA project called ExpressLane that appears to have covertly ensured all other agencies were playing fair in terms of biometric data sharing.

The files show that  ExpressLane disguises itself as a software update for government biometric software. It is manually installed by CIA technicians (via secret partition on a USB drive) on to partner systems along with the biometrics collection system. But the partners being completely unaware of what other things are present on their system.

The spying tool transfers an information that might not have been shared by the partners, to flash drive for the further examination by the technicians. They also have a kill-switch at hand, requiring the system to be physically restored after a specified amount of time, if the partner refuses the update.

"'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", writes Wikileaks.

If the tool finds that agencies are not sharing all the data they collect, otherwise, the CIA bricks its remote biometrics databases. It was likely used with US security agencies like NSA, FBI, and Homeland Security among others.