“You’ve changed, Wikileaks. You used to just be about the hacking!” That’s basically the message that hacker collective Anonymous delivered to WikiLeaks this week, as Anonymous sought to distance itself from Julian Assange’s website in a statement posted on its Twitter account. As The Guardian reports, Anonymous “described WikiLeaks as ‘the one man Julian Assange show’ after the website began asking users to pay for access to millions of leaked documents.” The group went on to decry Assange’s current celebrity status as antithetical to WikiLeaks’ original purpose. More →
Whistle-blower website WikiLeaks is desperate for funding and needs “a minimum” of a million euros in order to continue its mission. The organization revealed that its cash reserves have sunken from around $983,600 in December 2010 to less than $120,000 at the end of June, and “within a few months,” reserves will have dwindled to nothing. The website blames its financial woes on both Visa (V) and MasterCard (MA), who have prohibited cardholders from donating to the site. WikiLeaks has figured out a way around the problem, however. The group announced that a French nonprofit group known as the Fund for the Defense of Net Neutrality has set up a fund with France’s Carte Bleue credit card system that will allow users to donate to the organization again. WikiLeaks’s press release follows below. More →
Backers of the whistle-blowing organisation WikiLeaks recently launched Friends of WikiLeaks (FoWL), an encrypted social network for like-minded individuals. “Friends of WikiLeaks is a network of people from across the globe who defend WikiLeaks, its people, its alleged sources and its mission,” the website’s homepage says. “We publicly and privately promote WikiLeaks and individuals and organisations aligned with the mission of WikiLeaks. This site will help you to join with people like you in your area and across the world. You will make new friends and new allies, care for treasured values and fight in common cause.” Instead of having users find people to friend, as is the case with Facebook and Google+, Friends of WikiLeaks will assign users 12 friends each, six of which will be from a similar geographic location, and six others from other parts of the world who speak the same language. If a group is assigned an inactive user, the group can boot the user and the service will automatically assign a new “friend” to the group. More →
WikiLeaks announced that its founder and leader Julian Assange is planning to run for a seat on the Australian Senate, the Associated Press reported on Saturday. Despite being under house arrest in England and facing sex crime allegations in Sweden, the group said it is possible for Assange to run. “We have discovered that it is possible for Julian Assange to run for the Australian Senate while detained. Julian has decided to run,” WikiLeaks announced on Twitter. The group also announced that it would be supporting a candidate who will run against Prime Minister Julia Gillard for her seat of Lalor. “The name of the Lalor candidate and the state Julian will run for will be announced at the appropriate time,” the group said. Assange has criticized Gillard for her lack of support as he faced the threat of extradition to the United States over WikiLeaks’s release of classified U.S. documents. While Australian police have said that WikiLeaks and Assange have not broken any Australian laws, Gillard condemned the action, calling it “grossly irresponsible.” More →
In an attempt to evade U.S. prosecution, Julian Assange’s investors are said to be in the process of moving Wikileaks’s servers offshore, according to Fox News. Multiple unnamed sources spoke with the news network and said Assange’s financial backers have been going through the logistics of moving the servers to international waters. “They can keep running Wikileaks and nobody can touch them,” a source told Fox News. “If you get a certain distance away from any land then you’re dealing with maritime law … They can’t prosecute him under maritime law. He’s safe. He’s not an idiot, he’s actually very smart.” Read on for more. More →
During a recent speech to delivered at the City University in London, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange said that most smartphones can be hacked remotely with ease. “Who here has an iPhone? Who here has a BlackBerry? Who here uses Gmail? Well, you’re all screwed,” Assange said during his talk, which followed the release of 287 documents related to mass surveillance. Assange explained to the crowd that more than 150 private organizations in 25 countries can easily track phones and intercept messages, browsing history, email accounts, phone calls and more remotely, ZDNET said. Several organizations are even capable of sending fake text messages from a user’s phone, Assange said. Read on for more. More →
The infamous group of “hacktivists” known as Anonymous Operations on Thursday launched a new tool to aid its digital crusade against targeted governments and corporations. Dubbed “HackerLeaks,” the new site is a tool hackers can use to distribute data anonymously, and it adopts the model popularized by WikiLeaks. Hacker groups like the now-defunct LulzSec used a variety of tools to disseminate the spoils of their cyberattacks, but Anonymous explains that their tool has a number of benefits. “Anonymous and the [People’s Liberation Front] have already established connections to the media outlets that can help better expose important data, and that they hope to also provide ‘unique and enlightening analysis,’” the group said in a statement. HackerLeaks it the latest addition to Anonymous’ movement known as “AntiSec,” which is aimed at “exposing corporate and government data and humiliating security firms.” More →
An unaffiliated group of pro-WikiLeaks hackers calling itself “Anoymous” finds itself short a few member this evening as multiple alleged culprits were arrested on Thursday in the U.K. The BBC reports that five men were arrested in a series of raids, and they are being held in various locations across England. Allegations against the men are described as “recent and ongoing attacks by an online group that calls itself ‘Anonymous’.” The two adults and three teenagers were allegedly involved with a series of DDoS attacks carried out last year, aimed at various websites the group felt stood in opposition of notorious news agency WikiLeaks and its famed leader Julian Assange. Targets included websites belonging to Amazon, Visa, Mastercard and Paypal. This is not the first time arrests have been made in connection with Anonymous’ attacks; two Dutch teenagers allegedly involved with the group were arrested last year, but charges were never formally filed against them. More →
The United States’ clandestine security group — the Central Intelligence Agency — has created a task force to, as the Washington Post reports, “assess the impact of the exposure of thousands of U.S. diplomatic cables and military files by WikiLeaks.” The article goes on to note that the WikiLeaks Task Force is better known around the Agency by its acronym: WTF. We would like to take this opportunity to snicker at the task force’s acronym choice. Oh the double-entendre, what a fickle mistress you are. More →
Okay, maybe Interpol didn’t issue an arrest warrant for the unofficial WikiLeaks iOS app… maybe that was just our attempt at wit. The application did, however, get ousted from the iOS App Store by the gatekeepers at Apple. The application’s developer, Igor Barinov, received an email from Apple late yesterday informing him that his application had officially been delisted from the mobile store. The note lacks any shred of specificity and asks Mr. Barinov to contact the iTunes Store Team (who are about to take a week off) for resolution. The application, cleverly titled WikiLeaks App, gives users one-touch access to the now infamous site’s leaked documents and Twitter account; the app cost $1.99. It is unclear whether the application’s removal has to do with a legitimate iOS terms-of-service violation or if Apple is joining the likes of Visa, MasterCard, PayPal, and Bank of America in their assault on WikiLeaks. More →
French digital journalism monitor OWNI published an interview Monday with former right-hand man to Julian Assange, Daniel Domscheit-Berg. Domscheit-Berg shot from anonymity to the spotlight recently when he announced that he was leaving WikiLeaks and launching a new project called OpenLeaks. “In these last months, the organization has not been open any more, it lost its open-source promise,” Domscheit-Berg said of WikiLeaks. He did not elaborate, but OpenLeaks will apparently be focused on achieving WikiLeaks’ initial vision as Domscheit-Berg saw it. The OpenLeaks website is now live (www.openleaks.org), though no content has been published at this point. It will initially be a vehicle for short essays that will serve as a test for the site “without pressure.” This will be the case through early 2011, and then the site will turn to “bigger media.” OpenLeaks is currently a 10-man operation but those numbers will likely rise with haste; Domscheit-Berg said the team is “drowning in applications” from people who want to join the crusade. More →
Global hacker group “Anonymous” announced its plans Thursday morning to launch a cyberattack on Amazon.com. The attack is part of a larger endeavor called “Operation Payback,” which targets the websites of companies the group believes to have impeded WikiLeaks’ efforts to disseminate information. Recent targets include Visa and Mastercard.
Anonymous’ cyberattack on Amazon.com was scheduled to commence at 11:00am Eastern, yet Amazon.com has not experienced any downtime as of 11:20am. As a result, it appears as though the attacks on Amazon.com have been unsuccessful.
UPDATE: Shortly before noon, the group gave up on its plan to attack Amazon.com. Instead, it is currently focusing its efforts on Paypal, though the site has not yet gone offline.
A global, ever-expanding team of hackers called “Anonymous” has announced its next target in a series of cyberattacks that have taken down multiple websites over the past few days. Among its targets were the websites of both Visa and Mastercard following news that the institutions would cease delivery of funds that had been donated to WikiLeaks. Using Twitter to announce the attack, the group is preparing to take down Amazon.com, presumably due to the company’s abrupt cancellation of its hosting agreement with WikiLeaks after being pressured by the Department of Homeland Security. The attack on Amazon.com will begin at 11:00am Eastern.