1176673_WikiLeaks posts huge encrypted file to Web

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Date 2010-08-05 22:28:10
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Oh, I'm not saying we shouldn't watch it.

We just need to watch it with a jaundiced eye and not automatically buy into the hype...

From: [email protected] [mailto:[email protected]]
On Behalf Of Marc Lanthemann
Sent: Thursday, August 05, 2010 4:20 PM
To: Analyst List
Subject: Re: S3* - MESA/CT/MIL - WikiLeaks posts huge encrypted file to Web

I agree with your that it's most likely not exciting info. Wikileak's become a world recognized brand after the leak and they probably want to keep it that way by building up the mystique.

However, I think it doesn't hurt to keep an eye on this and consider all possible scenarios.

On 8/5/10 3:13 PM, scott stewart wrote:

I think you may be giving the material more weight than it deserves. The stuff released to date is pretty tame and lame. I can't imagine the last 15,000 documents being qualitatively much different if they came from the same source.

Therefore, I think this is more of a publicity stunt than anything. I wonder how much money Assange has raised through this "ordeal" of being persecuted by the USG?

From: [email protected] [mailto:[email protected]]
On Behalf Of Marc Lanthemann
Sent: Thursday, August 05, 2010 4:06 PM
To: Analyst List
Subject: Re: S3* - MESA/CT/MIL - WikiLeaks posts huge encrypted file to Web

I came up with some more thoughts/points while discussing this with Sean:

o The general guess is that Insurance contains the remaining 15k Afghan docs, but it could either be something more damaging or total bluff. o In any case the US govt wouldn't want to risk public dissemination. Which means they can't really arrest him, kill him or send him to a relaxation spa in Cuba or Poland.
o Therefore Assange's life/liberty is somewhat important for US national security.
o Pushing this reasoning forward, killing Assange would be detrimental for the US.
o I don't know who would benefit from further leaks and political shitstorms in the US, but that person/government may have it in them to cap Assange.
o The US needs to make sure nobody gets to him.
o All in all, not a particularly brilliant self-preservation move from Assange.
On 8/5/10 2:25 PM, Marc Lanthemann wrote:

FYI, talked to some of my CS/hacker-savvy friends. The file is encrypted using a 256 bit AES encryption, which is what the US government uses for classified documentation. There are no known weaknesses to this encryption and it would take longer than the lifetime of the sun to brute-force the code using all the supercomputers currently in existence. You'd need a super secret quantum computer or the biggest breakthrough in cryptoanalysis ever.

Bottom line we'll only get access to the files when Wikileaks feels like releasing the password. This has been making lots of waves in the hacker/nerd community, and I spent some time browsing hacker forums for ideas. Serious people (as serious as webforum hackers can be) are talking about a sort of dead man trigger, password must be entered by Assange every X hours/days or the password is released.
In any case, NSA is going to get a headache over this. It might even be a bluff and turn out to be Assange's randomly encrypted copy of Bambi.

On 8/5/10 1:31 PM, Michael Wilson wrote:

no idea what is really on

WikiLeaks posts huge encrypted file to Web
The Associated Press
Thursday, August 5, 2010; 1:30 PM

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/08/05/AR201008...

LONDON -- Online whistle-blower WikiLeaks has posted a huge encrypted file named "Insurance" to its website, sparking speculation that those behind the organization may be prepared to release more classified information if authorities interfere with them.

Bloggers have noted that it's 20 times larger than the batch of 77,000 secret U.S. military documents about Afghanistan that WikiLeaks dumped onto the Web last month. Contributors to tech sites such as CNet have speculated that the file could be a way of threatening to disclose more information if WikiLeaks' staffers were detained or if the site was attacked, although the organization itself has kept mum.

"As a matter of policy, we do not discuss security procedures," WikiLeaks said Thursday in an e-mail response to questions about the 1.4 gigabyte file.

Editor-in-chief Julian Assange was a bit more expansive - if equally cryptic - in his response to the same line of questioning in a television interview with independent U.S. news network Democracy Now!

"I think it's better that we don't comment on that," Assange said, according to the network's transcript of the interview. "But, you know, one could imagine in a similar situation that it might be worth ensuring that important parts of history do not disappear."

Assange, a former computer hacker, has expressed concern over his safety in the past, complaining of surveillance and telling interviewers that he's been warned away from visiting the United States.

Since the publication of the Afghanistan files, at least one activist associated with the site has been questioned by U.S. authorities. Programmer Jacob Appelbaum, who filled in for Assange at a conference last month, was reportedly detained and questioned about the site by officials after arriving in the U.S. on a flight from the Netherlands. ad_icon

U.S. officials have had harsh words for Assange, with Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, saying he and his colleagues had disclosed potentially life-threatening information and might already have blood on their hands.
U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates has refused to rule out the possibility that Assange could be a target into the military's investigation into the leak.

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Michael Wilson

Watch Officer, STRAFOR

Office: (512) 744 4300 ex. 4112

Email: [email protected]

--

Michael Wilson

Watch Officer, STRAFOR

Office: (512) 744 4300 ex. 4112

Email: [email protected]

--

Marc Lanthemann

Research Intern

Mobile: +1 609-865-5782

Strategic Forecasting, Inc.

www.stratfor.com

--

Marc Lanthemann

Research Intern

Mobile: +1 609-865-5782

Strategic Forecasting, Inc.

www.stratfor.com

--

Marc Lanthemann

Research Intern

Mobile: +1 609-865-5782

Strategic Forecasting, Inc.

www.stratfor.com

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