Tag Archives: WikiLeaks

China Blocks WikiLeaks and Chinese News on the Released Cables

In a recent move, China has blocked access to WikiLeaks and the released documents. It has also blocked access to some of the Chinese news sites who covered and published the released documents. This has been done to preserve China-US relations. However, blocking the content is not be best way to do so as the people of China will eventually grow even more curious about what was out there.

Hong Lei, a spokesman for China’s Foreign Ministry, said at a Beijing news conference:

China takes note of the government reports. We hope the U.S. side will handle the relevant issues. As for the content of the documents, we will not comment on that.

The only articles that people in China can see are US responses on the matter.

For China, making this move is very relevant as the released cables include a Chinese individual telling the US embassy in China about the Chinese Politburo that attempted to hack into Google China computers and mastered the Operation Aurora.

Whether this irrational blocking of WikiLeaks by China is strictly, a measure to prevent any harm to diplomatic relations with the US or to keep people out of the loop on the proceedings of this matter is a mystery.

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WikiLeaks Shifts Server to Amazon EC2, Keeps Leaked Content Safely Hidden Away

WikiLeaks is the word of the town and it has already done enough damage that Julian Assange seriously needs to watch which borders he is crossing. Additionally, the WikiLeaks website has to take some safeguard measures against hack attempts.

Addressing this exact problem, the WikiLeaks website has been moved to the Amazon EC2 server, which is a cloud-based hosting service from Amazon. Amazon is the symbol of America’s success over the Internet. This move will create quite some trouble for the government because not all Amazon servers are located in America. Further, any attempt to bring down the website directly will only bring the government more embarrassment. However, the Government is already  libel-proof and should not make official attempts to bring down WikiLeaks.

EC2 is a pay as you use hosting service and this will provide WikiLeaks enough of bandwidth to stand a DDoS hack attack. The media content from the leaks are hosted simultaneously in anther French server managed by Octopuce, a French company. Therefore, the government has no use taking down the Amazon hosted website, as the files will still be available.

This whole matter will definitely work as some good advertisement for Amazon’s classic EC2 servers.

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Ecuador Offers Julian Assange Refuge

Ecuador Deputy Foreign Minister Kintto Lucas has announced that Ecuador will give refuge to Julian Assange, now that he is on the US most wanted list more than ever.

His welcome speech goes like this:

We are going to invite him to come to Ecuador so he can freely present the information he possesses and all the documentation, not just over the Internet but in a variety of public forums.

In a vague attempt to arrest Assange, Sweden released an arrest warrant against him in a rape case. The US has started a criminal investigation against the released tapes. However, they have not charged him with any allegation in the new case yet.

Ecuador has no intent to be a part of this. However, it has shown concern regarding the released information. If you are not following this already, read how the biggest WikiLeaks Leak was pre-released on twitter yesterday and China’s Politburo was found responsible for the Google China hacking operation Aurora. Recently, Forbes has reported that WikiLeaks will reveal major US bank scandals in 2011.

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WikiLeaks Has Major US Bank Scandals to Reveal In 2011

WikiLeaks has opened the Pandora’s Box for the government and has revealed some interesting and amusing conversations from embassy cables across the nation.

However, this only marks the beginning of a series of releases. There was definitely more to follow and they had talked of it earlier this month. Forbes had an exclusive with Assange and this is what they have to say about it:

In an exclusive interview earlier this month, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange told Forbes that his whistleblower site will release tens of thousands of documents from a major U.S. financial firm in early 2011. Assange wouldn’t say exactly what date, what bank, or what documents, but he compared the coming release to the emails that emerged in the Enron trial, a comprehensive look at a corporation’s bad behavior.

The overwhelming response on the WikiLeaks submission channel was so intense that they had to close submissions in December as they were running out of places to publish the submissions. Assange has decided to release matters that are more serious as compared to other not so important ones. So remember, anything that we see next, is the best Assange has.

WikiLeaks Reveals China’s Politburo Responsible for Google Hacking

WikiLeaks has started turning some heads with the latest release of documents. In one of the released documents, lie unseen secrets of the Google-China incident.

A revelation from WikiLeaks has confirmed that  China’s Politburo was indeed after the Google hacking earlier this year. The whole matter resulted in a huge drama with Google pulling out of China, and then coming back after a few months in summer.

The matter has been published as compiled documents by the NYT and the Guardian. Ironically, WikiLeaks, the authority on this leak has lost its website to a patriot hacker and is hoping to see some uptime at 3:30 tomorrow, when the official release is scheduled. I am sure WikiLeaks has the better documents well hidden with itself.

According to the report which directly blames China,

A global computer hacking effort: China’s Politburo directed the intrusion into Google’s computer systems in that country, a Chinese contact told the American Embassy in Beijing in January, one cable reported. The Google hacking was part of a coordinated campaign of computer sabotage carried out by government operatives, private security experts and Internet outlaws recruited by the Chinese government. They have broken into American government computers and those of Western allies, the Dalai Lama and American businesses since 2002, cables said.

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Redditors Find out The Twitter Account of the Guy Claiming DDOS Attacks on WikiLeaks

Reddit is undoubtedly the best place on the Internet. It is one place where computer nerds feel at home. Proving its awesomeness, Redditors have discovered the Twitter account of the attacker claiming the WikiLeaks DDoS attack.

It all started with a question,

I’m curious who’s actually responsible for this. The US is intelligent enough to realize that DDoS’ing Wikileaks is just going to annoy them and make them release more documents. As such, it wouldn’t surprise me if China or the like was actually doing it, so as to ensure Wikileaks gets angy and release more classified US material.

What followed was a usual Reddit conversation list and it is worth a read here.

Here is a snapshot of the possible Twitter account of the one pulling off the hack. The hacker who goes by the name of “The Jester” is a patriot and gained notice earlier this year for making a DoS attack on the Taliban website www.alemarah.info.

However, since the videos and documents have already been released by the news agencies, the DDoS is futile now.

Biggest WikiLeaks Leak Pre-Released On Twitter

WikiLeaks has created quite a buzz with its releases and busting governments and agencies. It was scheduled to make its biggest release event tomorrow. However, someone stole its thunder by making a pre-release of the scheduled release on Twitter. However, the fact to be noted is that, this pre-release was not made by a person. A reader of the Der Speigel magazine simply pointed out on Twitter that the latest copy of the Der Spiegel magazine includes a possible part of the leak.

As it turns out, Der Spiegel is the same German magazine that is spreading the word about this leak. As far as the seriousness of the leak is concerned, readers of the magazine have tweeted their disappointment in the release. The videos take a hit at Italian, Iranian and other German leaders, however, none of it is worth the outcry.

WikiLeaks was supposed to make the release with The New York Times, the Guardian and Der Spiegel but as it seems, Der Spiegel did not care for the embargo and published it before the source. With a DDOS underway on WikiLeaks, the whole matter is gathering quite some attention. The timely pre-release by Der Spiegel will work well towards initiating the tension for the Government.

Der Spiegel magazine copies have a cache of 250,000 confidential cables each and it is quite and eye candy for anyone following the matter closely.

Update: NYT broke the embargo and released the documents. Read them here and The Guardian followed.

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WikiLeaks under a DDOS Attack Following the News of a Big Release Tomorrow

The German Magazine Der Spiegel has suggested that WikiLeaks is going to make a release that will change many diplomatic connections the US holds currently. The release is scheduled for tomorrow at 4:30 PM EST.

WikiLeaks Central reports that the leaks will have the following content:

  • Included are 251,287 cables and 8,000 diplomatic directives
  • One cable dates back to 1966, but most are newer than 2004
  • 9,005 documents date from the first two months of 2010

Der Spiegel says,

Almost half of those documents are unclassified, 40% are confidential and 6 are secret documents.

That is quite a release and the US government will have to face a lot of heat. However, as the release is nearing its deadline, the WikiLeaks site has faced a massive DDOS. Given the number of botnets running around this world, this can be the act of any government hired hacker group or any independent hacker group as well.

All that we have to confirm this DDOS is a tweet from the Wikileaks Twitter account, which says,

We are currently under a mass distributed denial of service attack.

This should not be seen as a possible last measure by governments because if it is, it is all futile. In another tweet, the same Wikileaks account has claimed that The Guardian and the New York Times will publish some of those releases if WikiLeaks cannot in time. Either way, the Government is having a bad day tomorrow.

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Swedish Authorities Issue Arrest Warrant Against WikiLeaks Founder on Rape and Molestation Charges

WikiLeaksJulian Assange, the enigmatic founder of WikiLeaks has always been a controversial personality. He has been hailed by many as a savior of free speech, criticized by Cryptome for money laundering, and now accused by the Swedish Police of rape and molestation.

WikiLeaks is a controversial secretive organization that takes pride in exposing confidential documents of public interest. The award winning organization came under the mainstream spotlight after leaking the Baghdad Airstrike video (showing civilian casualties) and the Afghan war chest.

According to the Swedish daily Expressen, he met with these women last week, when he was in Sweden to apply for a publishing certificate that will enable the website to advantage of Swedish laws providing protection to whistle-blowers.

WikiLeaks tried to downplay the charges as “dirty tricks”. In a statement issued over the micro blogging website, Julian Assange said, “The charges are without basis and their issue at this moment is deeply disturbing”.

Update: The Swedish authorities have withdrawn the rape charges and dropped the arrest warrant.

Wikileaks and Julian Assange, now Insured against the US Government

While Julian Assange is enjoying his time in Sweden, he cannot necessarily stay there for eternity in a house arrest. In a new move, he has now ensured and insured his safe passage out of Sweden without the FBI making trouble for him.

Just like NDAKOTA in Digital Fortress, Assange is now insured with a passphrase which will make for the largest leak Wikileaks has ever made. Wikileaks has a new file “insurance” in its server which is encrypted with an AES256 encryption. The file is posted on the Afghan War page and is sized at more than all the earlier Wikileaks leaks combined. The file has 77,000 Afghan war documents.

In case something happens to Julian Assange or Wikileaks, volunteers will release passphrase of the documents and it will be open to all. If that happens, the United States will have a lot of people to answer to.

The expected greatest benefits from this release would possibly go to Taliban which has already claimed to be scanning through the Wikileaks documents. They are looking for people involved in the matter and are ready to punish them if needed.

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Wikileaks gets Pirate Party offer of Refuge, Servers and Hosting

The Pirate Party has declared an open war against the media industry. It has started providing bandwidth and hosting to the Pirate Bay and wants to bring more such names under its banner. Next on its list of godchildren is Wikileaks. Wikileaks founder Julian Assange became an online phenomenon after his interview by TED and his leakage of confidential video footages from the Iraq war.

Many term him as a conspiracy theorist and others call him an elite hacker. Whatever he is, USA is not ready to take it and the next best place he can be at is either Sweden or Ireland. Sweden and Ireland have lenient laws, which are inclined to support the EFF and denounce the DMCA laws. The Swedish Pirate Party has offered help and support to the Wikileaks website by offering free hosting and bandwidth.

Concerned voices have raised questions and made statements on this matter saying,

Now is the decisive moment for our Swedish politicians. Will they have enough backbone to stand up on Wikileaks and democracy, or will they give way to the U.S. and go after PRQ and Wikileaks?

The United States will  ask  for an  explanation  from the Swedish Government for this refuge and they had better have a good answer to continue doing whatever this is that they are doing.

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Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is on the CIA Wanted List

Julian Assange and his website, Wikileaks has become a phenomenon on the Internet. He has released numerous documents and videos over the last four years, the scale of which is unmatched with all other leaks combined.

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He refuses to call himself a journalist though; his investigative journalism has made him a saga. All this heroism has however, got him in trouble with the US and he is on the top wanted list of CIA. They want to question him for posting a video of an American helicopter shooting and killing several  Iraqi  civilians and two Reuter’s journalists.

He has limited his movements out of Sweden and remains secretive about it. He has however, developed a likeness for Iceland where journalism is libel-free.

A report at  belfasttelegraph says,

What if publishing a document would threaten national security? “This phrase is so abused. Dick Cheney justified torture with it. Give me an example.” What about the movement of US troops? Would he publish a document that jeopardised their safety? “We’d have to think about it.” So that’s a yes? “It’s not a yes. If that fit into our editorial criteria which it might, if it was an extremely good movement then we’d have to look at whether that needed a harm minimisation procedure. We’d be totally happy to consider jeopardising the initiation of a war, or the action of war. Absolutely.”

Currently, Assange stays at a safe house. When being asked about his safety, he said,

Is it in the CIA’s interest to assassinate me? Maybe. But who would do it? Isn’t he brave to appear in public? Courage is an intellectual mastery of fear. It’s not that you don’t have fear, you just manage your risks intelligently.

Never heared of Wikileaks earlier? Have the taste of a Wikileaks controversy here.

Update: Here is a surprise interview of Assange by Chris Anderson:

WikiLeaks Promises to Reveal Pentagon Murder Cover-up: US Government Feels Threatened

WikiLeaks Controversy is not something new to WikiLeaks – a website notorious for leaking sensitive governmental, corporate, organizational, or religious documents. In the past, they have leaked Guantánamo Bay procedures, documents belonging to the Church of Scientology, contents of Sarah Palin’s e-mail account and internet censorship lists.

Obviously, over the years WikiLeaks has managed to anger quite a few people, organizations and governments around the world. In fact, the US Army even considered attacking WikiLeaks in the past. According to The Register, a 2008 report by the Army Counterintelligence Center, classified Secret, called for a mole hunt and prosecutions to undermine potential sources’ trust in WikiLeaks.

Due to fundraising problems, WikiLeaks had to close shop for several months. However, it bounced back in February ’10 and is once again courting trouble. WikiLeaks has promised to reveal a Pentagon murder cover-up at the US National Press Club on April 5. Although, very little information is available about the nature of the information available to WikiLeaks, it is definitely sensitive enough to prompt the US government into action.

A flurry of recent updates on the official WikiLeaks Twitter account suggests that they are currently under an aggressive US and Icelandic surveillance operation. Here are the recent tweets by WikiLeaks in chronological order:

  • WikiLeaks is currently under an aggressive US and Icelandic surveillance operation. Following/photographing/filming/detaining.
  • If anything happens to us, you know why: it is our Apr 5 film. And you know who is responsible.
  • Two under State Dep diplomatic cover followed our editor from Iceland to http://skup.no on Thursday.
  • One related person was detained for 22 hours. Computer’s seized.That’s http://www.skup.no
  • We know our possession of the decrypted airstrike video is now being discussed at the highest levels of US command.
  • If you know more about the operations against us, contact https://secure.wikileaks.org/
  • We have been shown secret photos of our production meetings and been asked specific questions during detention related to the airstrike.
  • We have airline records of the State Dep/CIA tails. Don’t think you can get away with it. You cannot. This is WikiLeaks.

In the past, WikiLeaks has played a pivotal role in exposing wrongdoing. It has managed to remain true to its principle of only publishing documents of political, diplomatic, historical or ethical interest. Over the years, it has managed to gain both respect and reputation for making a positive impact.

At the moment, the big question is, did WikiLeaks byte off more than it can chew? It will be interesting to observe how events unfold over the next few days. Stay tuned for more updates.

Update: A possibly related slightly older tweet reveals a bit more about the current situation:

Finally cracked the encryption to US military video in which journalists, among others, are shot. Thanks to all who donated $/CPUs.