Could a Doctor Who villain have inspired a real-life MI5/CIA hacking tool?

According to documents published by Wikileaks, the Weeping Angels may have been watching us all along...


Wikileaks has released details of what it claims are wide-ranging cyber-weapons and hacking tools used by the CIA, with a peculiar twist – because one of the alleged techniques, reportedly co-developed with Britain’s MI5, appears to be based on Doctor Who villain the Weeping Angels.


According to the leaked documents, whose authenticity is hard to determine, MI5 helped to build a piece of spyware software for Samsung’s F8000 television sets that was codenamed Weeping Angel, referencing the fan-favourite Doctor Who monster that turns to stone when viewed by other beings but attacks them when they close their eyes or turn their backs on it.

Similarly, the purported software makes the TV more dangerous when you’re not watching it, supposedly creating a “fake-off” mode designed to trick users into thinking the set has powered down when in fact it is eavesdropping on its owners, covertly recording audio from their living rooms before passing it back to the CIA when the set is switched back on. 

There has currently been no response to the allegations from Samsung or MI5, with the CIA merely stating that they “Do not comment on the authenticity or content of purported intelligence documents” (via BBC) – but if it does turn out to be true, it’ll be one of the geekiest scandals ever to hit the intelligence community. 


Doctor Who returns to BBC1 on Saturday 15th April