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Wikileaks suggests CIA planned car hacks for assassinations

The leaks detail a plan to remotely take control of vehicles, which would allow the CIA to carry out undetectable assassinations

The CIA was investigating ways to take over your car's on-board computer, forcing it to crash and allowing America's Central Intelligence Agency to carry out "nearly undetectable assassinations", according to a new and damaging Wikileaks document leak.

The incredible claims are included in the more 8,700 documents (codenamed Vault 7) which were today released by Wikileaks, and also include plans to turn home televisions into spy microphones and detail the ability to hack smartphones so they send the CIA the owner's location, phone calls and text communications.

The CIA is yet to confirm the authenticity of the documents, but Wikileaks - founded by Australian Julian Assange, who is currently residing in the Embassy of Ecuador in London, where he has been granted asylum - has a history of leaking hugely damaging and authentic documents.

The leak details a technology dubbed "Weeping Angel", in which CIA operatives "infest" a range of Samsung Smart TVs. The technology than takes control of the television's microphone, and ensures it stays on when its owner thinks it's switched off, beaming any conversations to the CIA's control centre.

But in alarming news for modern car owners, the leaks also detail a plan to remotely take control of vehicles, which, according to Wikileaks, would allow the CIA to carry out undetectable assassinations. 

The documents detail an October 2014 meeting, in which the Embedded Development Branch included cars and trucks in its Weeping Angel program, specifically targeting "vehicle control systems".

"The purpose of such control is not specified, but it would permit the CIA to engage in nearly undetectable assassinations," the Wikileaks Press Release reads.

While the method of controlling vehicles is not specified, it's possible the CIA would target a vehicle's on-board internet connection, essentially hacking the car and taking control of key systems. 

A group of US-based hackers used that method to take control of a 2014 Jeep Cherokee, killing the ignition as the car was driving in traffic before disabling the vehicle's brakes. The hack forced parent company FCA into recalling 1.4 million vehicles. Australian-delivered Jeeps do not feature the on-board internet connection.

Speaking to Wired magazine, one of the hackers, Chris Valasek, said: "Imagine…if instead of cutting the transmission on the highway, we'd turned the wheel 180 degrees. You'd be dead."

Does this leak change the way you think about car technology, or government agencies? Tell us what you think in the comments below.