WikiLeaks 'Vault 7' release: CIA CouchPotato tool 'captures video stream images remotely'

© Gary Hershorn / Reuters

The CIA has developed a top-secret program allowing users to remotely hack and capture still images of video streams, according to the latest release from WikiLeaks.

Dubbed 'CouchPotato,' a user guide to the tool uploaded by WikiLeaks says that it utilizes ffmpeg software, which produces libraries and programs for handling multimedia data to decode streaming connections.

The user guide is dated February 2014 and the document front page is marked: "Classified By: 2273504" and "Declassify On: 25X1, 20620712."

"Today, August 10th 2017, WikiLeaks publishes the the User Guide for the CoachPotato project of the CIA. CouchPotato is a remote tool for collection against RTSP/H.264 video streams," a statement on the WikiLeaks site reads.

Just one part of the document appears to have been redacted, an index page at the beginning under a heading marked "Authority."

© WikiLeaks.org

Some of the advice laid out in the guide warns that, in certain circumstances, the tool "can leak memory and also leave file handles open." It also recommends setting an expiration period for the tool so that, when this period has elapsed, "CouchPotato will exit."

"This is a highly recommended option when collecting video," the document adds.

Thursday's release is the latest in the whistleblowing organization's ongoing 'Vault 7' series of leaks purportedly from inside the CIA.

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