1184240_WikiLeaks posts huge encrypted file to Web

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Date 2010-08-06 15:47:53
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This is a pretty cool tool to come out of the Wikileaks data
http://ekstrabladet.dk/indsigt/warlogs-1/

Nate Hughes wrote:
True, but gotta watch for the ideologies. Not above breaking the law or anything like that, but pretty fanatical in their beliefs. This wikileaks guy talks a lot about 'justice' and shit like that...

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From: "scott stewart"
Date: Thu, 5 Aug 2010 16:10:08 -0500 (CDT)
To: 'Analyst List'
ReplyTo: Analyst List
Subject: RE: S3* - MESA/CT/MIL - WikiLeaks posts huge encrypted file to Web

They try to portray themselves as all idealistic, but by and large, the hacker community is pretty mercenary. I can see him selling copies to intelligence agencies to make some quick scratch and build his server farm....

The Chinese and Russians don't leak intelligence they vacuum it up.

From: [email protected]
[mailto:[email protected]] On Behalf Of Marc Lanthemann
Sent: Thursday, August 05, 2010 5:01 PM
To: Analyst List
Subject: Re: S3* - MESA/CT/MIL - WikiLeaks posts huge encrypted file to Web

I don't think that the copies can be purchased. It's the complete opposite of wikileaks' mission. They are as a public dissemination organization, not a private intelligence agency. Selling information to private parties is just unthinkable to those guys, they seek the glory of being whistle blowers, not monetary profit. They think of themselves as the freedom of press' Robin Hoods, taking info from the rich and powerful to give to the poor and ignorant masses.

If this is, as you said, a media operation, they wouldn't risk the Chinese or the Russians leaking that info and taking away their credit. Assuming it's similar to the previous leaks, the biggest damage those documents can do is by being leaked. It's not like the PRA is going to learn anything about out tactics they didn't know already. So China would only pay for this document for its potentially destabilizing value. This implies some sort of dissemination. If someone is going to leak that document it's wikileaks, ergo they won't give/sell it to anyone else.

On 8/5/10 3:43 PM, scott stewart wrote:

The sources and methods concern is already out the window. This material is already out there and I'm certain that anybody who wanted to purchase it on the side from Assange could do so. I'm sure the Chinese and Russians already have complete copies, probably even the ISI has bought a copy.

Now the issue is really more about damage control, and spinning the perception of events in the USGs favor.

From: [email protected]
[mailto:[email protected]] On Behalf Of Sean Noonan
Sent: Thursday, August 05, 2010 4:36 PM
To: Analyst List
Subject: Re: S3* - MESA/CT/MIL - WikiLeaks posts huge encrypted file to Web

I'm not sure what you're saying here--- if you mean that Assange wants this to appear like a Keanue Reeves movie you are right on. In terms of the US concerns, i'm pretty confident in my analysis. There's no crazy conspiracy here, but the US is going to do what it can to limit and protect that information. The key is protecting sources and methods. While there was nothing crazy in the last file dump, it still outed both. I'm not saying the US is going to do any major covert operation or whatever to get Assange nor that they are going to be intimidated by this 'insurance' file. They're going to quickly rethink how they are going to get him, but they're not going to be scared by this. They might be more motivated to negotiate in some way.

Marko Papic wrote:

I will say one thing... if you submitted this as a script to Hollywood, they'd say it is too ludicrous.

Unless it was the 1990s... in which case they would cast Keanu Reeves as Assange

Sean Noonan wrote:

I think it is actually the smartest move he could make. The US wants him....pretty badly. So, he can assume he will be pursued for arrest, maybe even rendition (I doubt that, and definitely doubt any assassination BS) wherever he goes. Putting this file up there makes the US think twice about arresting him. And Marc, you are right that now the US can be concerned about his well-being, especially if they have been given clues abou what's in the file and really don't want it out. Looking at the information in the last leak, none of it was of any serious value (except in endangering US operatives). Let's assume this is more valuable, but it's still hard to believe it is that valuable. Wikileaks wants the public to think these are crazy revelations coming out. For example, everything in those files people could've learned from reading STRATFOR, but now that it has the hype of being 'classified' and 'leaked' more people are paying attention.

Even if the information is valuable enough to the US to really try to protect, I highly doubt whatever information this might have will be so damaging to the US that any foreign group or country would find it valuable enough to assassinate Assange. Would any foreign intelligence agency or militant group dealing with the US want it leaked? Yes, definitely, but it is not of such value to them to accept the risk to force the information out there. At best a foreign country would offer him some sort of protected asylum in return for access (but would he accept that? not on his ideology).

So now the US has to figure out how to get its hand on this file, any other information Assange might have while having enough information for a prosecution and preventing the 'insurance' from being 'collected.' This gives him a delay in which he can move around, maybe better protect himself and at worst work out a deal with the US. If the US really was so concerned about, he would already be in custody. It would have to be truly disastrous information, and I highly doubt it is.

He's making a smart media ploy, and creating enough of a distraction that it's probably better for his personal security. The larger his profile, the harder it is for US security services to arrest, interrogate and neutralize (I don't mean kill) him.

Marc Lanthemann wrote:

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

--

Sean Noonan

Tactical Analyst

Office: +1 512-279-9479

Mobile: +1 512-758-5967

Strategic Forecasting, Inc.

www.stratfor.com

--

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Marko Papic

Geopol Analyst - Eurasia

STRATFOR

700 Lavaca Street - 900

Austin, Texas

78701 USA

P: + 1-512-744-4094

[email protected]

--

Sean Noonan

Tactical Analyst

Office: +1 512-279-9479

Mobile: +1 512-758-5967

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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