Fact Check: WikiLeaks Did NOT Dump Documents Revealing CIA Base In Frankfurt, Germany, Was Used To Hack Elections

Fact Check

  • by: Dana Ford
Fact Check: WikiLeaks Did NOT Dump Documents Revealing CIA Base In Frankfurt, Germany, Was Used To Hack Elections No New Leak

Did WikiLeaks dump documents November 17, 2020 revealing a CIA base in Frankfurt, Germany, was used to hack U.S. elections? No, that's not true: Wikileaks released documents back in 2017 purporting to show how the CIA hacked electronic equipment. The alleged CIA documents said nothing of hacking U.S. elections.

The claim appeared in an article (archived here) published by The Geller Report on November 22, 2020. It opened:

Kraken is a DoD cyber warfare program that tracks & hacks other systems to acquire evidence of nefarious actions of other nations & enemies.

Users on social media saw this title, description and thumbnail:

"KRAKEN" is a CIA Hacking Program - Geller Report News

Kraken is a DoD cyber warfare program that tracks & hacks other systems to acquire evidence of nefarious actions of other nations & enemies.

The rest of the article -- in its entirety -- consisted of a tweet, with an attachment, and a WikiLeaks press release. First, let's consider the press release.

Dated March 7, 2017, it detailed the leak of documents that, according to WikiLeaks, showed the "scope and direction of the CIA's global covert hacking program, its malware arsenal and dozens of 'zero day' weaponized exploits against a wide range of U.S. and European company products, include Apple's iPhone, Google's Android and Microsoft's Windows and even Samsung TVs, which are turned into covert microphones." It made no mention of hacking elections in the United States.

WikiLeaks named the leak, "Vault 7." The phrase, "Kraken Project," appeared on one of the pages dedicated to the leak.

Next, let's look at the tweet:

The tweet did not cite any source. It included an attachment, much of which appeared to be lifted, word for word, from this 2017 Deutsche Welle (DW) article. The article and the attachment opened the same way:

WikiLeaks released a trove of CIA documents on Tuesday that it claimed revealed details of its secret hacking arsenal.

The release included 8,761 documents that it claimed revealed details of "malware, viruses, trojans, weaponized 'zero day' exploits, malware remote control systems and associated documentation."

The leaks purportedly revealed that a top secret CIA unit used the German city of Frankfurt am Main as the starting point for numerous hacking attacks on Europe, China and the Middle East.

Again, to be clear, the "Vault 7" leak did not take place on a recent Tuesday. It happened on March 7, 2017, and was covered at that time by various media outlets.

There was just one paragraph in the attachment that did not appear in the DW article. It read:

It appears the CIA was using the same data center to hack the US elections ... and got caught. This is precisely why, as the Gateway Pundit reports, the CIA was kept completely out of the server raid operation that just took place in Germany. The raid was likely leveled against the CIA's own server farm that ran the remote Dominion hacking operation the night of the election!

This is wrong. One, there's no evidence the CIA hacked the election. The author of the above paragraph is attempting to conflate a years-old leak and current claims about election fraud. The documents leaked in 2017 discussed techniques for hacking phones, computers, televisions and such; they said nothing about hacking U.S. elections. Two, there was no server raid in Germany, as Lead Stories has previously reported.

NewsGuard, a company that uses trained journalist to rank the reliability of websites, describes gellerreport.com as:

A blog run by activist Pamela Geller that portrays Islam and its adherents in a negative light. The site has published false claims about former U.S. President Barack Obama and the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to NewsGuard the site does not maintain basic standards of accuracy and accountability. Read their full assessment here.

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  Dana Ford

Dana Ford is an Atlanta-based reporter and editor. She previously worked as a senior editor at Atlanta Magazine Custom Media and as a writer/ editor for CNN Digital. Ford has more than a decade of news experience, including several years spent working in Latin America.

Read more about or contact Dana Ford

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