Assange Asylum in Jeopardy, ‘Marble’ Undermines Russian Hacker Narrative
As Wikileaks’ release of Vault 7’s “Marble” was met with surprisingly little press coverage late this week, the run-off phase of presidential elections in Ecuador today may also prove decisive on whether Assange continues to receive asylum in the nation’s London embassy.
Wikileaks’ press release on the program alleges that Marble is used to hamper forensic investigators and anti-virus companies from attributing viruses, trojans and hacking attacks to the CIA.
The press release also emphasized that Marble was “only used for obfuscation,” giving the CIA the ability to conceal the origin of programs in malware, as opposed to containing exploits in and of itself. The documents indicate that the CIA also had the ability to create an appearance of ‘false attribution’ which gives the impression that the malware was created by another country; including Russia or China. The Mirror reported that: “Marble has test examples in Chinese, Russian, Korean, Arabic and Farsi as well as English.”
Wikileaks claimed that Marble was in use at the CIA during 2016 and reached 1.0 in 2015. This raises serious questions in regards to the “Russian Hacking” narrative often proposed by representatives of the American intelligence community and in the press regarding the U.S. presidential election of 2016.
Marble was released shortly before Ecuador went to the polls to elect their next President in a run off election. Mr. Assange remains in Ecuador’s London Embassy, where he has been held in de-facto captivity since August 2012 after being granted asylum by Ecuador. On April 6, 2016 the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention found that Assange’s detention was unlawful. They ordered that he be released immediately and compensated by Sweden and the United Kingdom for the roles these states played in his captivity.
Conservative candidate Guillermo Lasso has promised to revoke Assange’s asylum within “30 days” of election, if he is is elected. Opposing Lasso is Lenín Moreno, who has indicated he will allow Assange to remain in the Ecuadorian embassy if victorious. The race has so far been reported as very close, with some Latin American media reporting that polls lean slightly in favor of Moreno.
Although U.S. President Donald Trump has commented favorably on Wikileaks, the U.S. Department of Justice has remained silent on claims it has readied a secret indictment of Assange, which Wikileaks has referred to as “unconstitutional.”