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The CIA Allegedly Named a Hacking Tool After Aeris from 'Final Fantasy 7'

Turns out CIA hackers are a bunch of nerds.
Image: Square Enix

WikiLeaks continued its slow drip of publishing alleged CIA secret documents on Thursday, dropping three new manuals that reveal previously unknown spy agency hacking tools. One of the manuals also confirms once again that CIA hackers might be a bunch of nerds.

An implant designed to infect a host of Linux-based operating systems is named after Aeris Gainsborough, a character in the classic 1997 Japanese role-playing game Final Fantasy VII.


Image: CIA via WikiLeaks

In the video game, Aeris is a playable character who is "upbeat and joyful," according to a Final Fantasy wiki. For the CIA, Aeris is a set of hacking tools that the hackers working for the spy agency can use to spy and exfiltrate data from systems that run Linux—like Red Hat Enterprise Linux , FreeBSD, Solaris, or Debian—according to the leaked document.

Read more: The CIA's Stash of the Dankest Emoticons

As other tools detailed in documents allegedly stolen from the CIA, and codenamed Vault 7 by WikiLeaks, Aeris appears to be an old tool, dating back to 2012 or 2013, based on the operating systems that are targeted by Aeris.

Other alleged CIA documents published in the last few months by WikiLeaks showed that CIA hackers might have a thing for nerdy pop culture. Some alleged CIA Android hacking tools were codenamed after Pokémon characters and Harry Potter.

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