Wikileaks 'insurance' file decrypted: Names of informants exposed

Wikileaks 'insurance' file decrypted: Names of informants exposed

Summary: Names of sources appear in unedited and unredacted cables, released by Wikileaks, putting lives of informants at risk.


The Wikileaks 'insurance file', a highly-encrypted file released onto the web earlier this year by the whistle-blowing organisation, has been decrypted.

The contents contain the entire cache of U.S. diplomatic cables, without redaction or editing.

The unredacted cables, which were not edited or blacked out like previous releases, could expose hundreds of sources of intelligence and put their safety at risk.

According to Der Spiegel, a series of conflicts between founder Julian Assange and former spokesperson Daniel Domscheit-Berg, led to the release of the password that protected the 'insurance file' that Wikileaks had circulated earlier this year.

It is believed that Assange had left the password to the insurance file on a secure Wikileaks server, to allow a trusted external contact to examine the cables.

Domscheit-Berg, one of Assange's greatest critics, left Wikileaks in September 2010. When he left, he took the contents of the secure server -- the original diplomatic cable cache, and the password -- with him.

Domscheit-Berg returned to Wikileaks towards the end of 2010, as Wikileaks supporters released the original cables in a 256-AES encrypted format -- not knowing the content of the data.

It is understood that the password was released earlier this year, without realising it would unlock the original, unredacted files of the U.S. diplomatic cable release, and was left undetected for several months.

OpenLeaks, set up by Wikileaks defector Domscheit-Berg, highlighted this major lapse in security, saying that it "proves allegations" made by the former spokesperson that data held by Wikileaks is "not secure".

A number of media outlets were given the unredacted and unedited versions of the U.S. diplomatic cables. The Guardian (United Kingdom), Der Spiegel (Germany) and the New York Times (United States) and others, went through the first few hundred cables that were sent to them and redacted -- blacked out -- names of sources and informants.

While now the insurance file has been open to decryption -- perhaps what Mark Stephens, Assange's lawyer once described as "secret material which it regarded as a 'thermo-nuclear device' to be released if it needs to protect itself" -- the names of informants may not be safe.

Update: In a tweet, the @wikileaks says: "WikiLeaks 'insurance' files have not been decrypted. All press are currently misreporting. There is an issue, but not that issue."

More soon.

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  • Assange should be sent to Guantanamo

    for endangering patriotic USA informants.
    The Linux Geek

    If your convinced that the us gov is not intentionally killing civilians in the streets abroad or here at home, your only showing off your lack of internal knowledge. As a life long employee of the GOV, I know the US is as wrong as Guantanamo's very existence.

    TiME For A RESET
    Politicians are prostitutes, profilers & pedophiles wearing the same simile lying denial. They?ve got the balls to stare into your face as you whisper your last breath, they find you a threat because of the things they?ve done to regret. But as free speech still stands I can grow fans, how dare they say that there is all these opportunities? There are homeless children in every damn community. I've got to admit, kids you will never have the chance to ever be the American president. Not that you'd wanna be a part of such a obviously rigged monopoly. Do something big while you have this one and only opportunity. So don?t lose motivation you still have a mission... if it ain?t fair bring the fight, upgrade the raid on their propaganda machine! Consolidate your crew, & establish a group, do something big and ya'll need do it soon. No need for violence we all know we would win; we need to wake up your brother, neighbor, and friends. Prepare for the worst because outlook says we?re screwed. Politicians are prostitutes, profilers & pedophiles wearing the same suits. They?ve got the balls to stare at you in the eye while you whisper your last breath as you die; because you became a threat to their lies.
    • And we should belive someone as off-balance as you


      Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, but people like you look at it and see a nuclear tipped cruise missle.

      Very sad.
      William Farrell
      • Message has been deleted.

  • RE: Wikileaks 'insurance' file decrypted: Names of informants exposed

    Good! Now go lock the traitors up!
    • Neither are US Citizens.


      They are foreigners with a massive vendetta but, as such, can not be "traitors".
  • RE: Wikileaks 'insurance' file decrypted: Names of informants exposed

    If the US government was as evil as Wikileaks says Assange would be dead from "kidney failure" in a month. These worms and anarchists spit on the very freedoms that make their very existence possible
    • RE: Wikileaks 'insurance' file decrypted: Names of informants exposed

      @jxt <br><br>Do you know anything about Assange? Anything at all? The reason he is so gungho about this whole wikileaks enterprise and the whole reason he distrusts governments so much is because he has seen with his very own eyes the innermost workings of various governments because back in the late 80s all the way up to about 1991 he was hacking like crazy. He has mentioned before how what he saw deeply affected him. If you had had unrestricted access to the most secret of government files and seen all the terrifying things the governments of the world were doing then you too would be appalled and would be strongly motivated to do something to change things (assuming you had any balls). Read the book by Juliet Dreyfus called "Underground". It's about the hackers of the late 80s and early 90s, including Julian Assange. It tells their personal stories of their lives and their exploits online, hacking governments. It shows the ethics of those early hackers as well as the extent of their access to the government. Nowadays it's nearly impossible to get into secure government computer networks but it wasn't back then. Few people know what governments are really like at their heart like Julian Assange does.
      • RE: Wikileaks 'insurance' file decrypted: Names of informants exposed

        and yet, Assange has used plenty of his data for blackmail purposes. sounds very honorable.
  • RE: Wikileaks 'insurance' file decrypted: Names of informants exposed

    I do not know how much damage could diplomatic stuff internal mailing really done to the US & West (not much I suppose - if not so all media & rest of the people interested in this "something" missed dangerous, mind- blowing, spectacular "hart" of Wiki material) apart from hot blame, but for my money "leaks" named Julian Assanage (even his own name sounds pompous, false in some way - not trustworthy) are before all, media glory seekers, self made-self promoters, stupid (after bargaining for one, two front pages or interviews with mainstream media) enough to do dirty laundry for some anti US agencies (secret services exactly, who by themselves couldn't find much profit from such crap, third or even fourth grade intelligence material). Of course, in world how he looks today, U need cover of the "just" (Julian the Just), anti-imperialist (meaning as always did, anti US, not anti Chinese, even though this very world class political player, newly prosperous state, had so much butter upon it's head), and to be recognized as pro - civil rights, pro - real democracy activist profile. So in so, I do not want patriotic act in motion against Dear Julian, but more clever mainstream media, capable of better journalism, without need for cheap tricks, anti US "global" scandals and cute "deep throats" in the face of our power-glory hungry Julian.
  • For what its worth

    It can be safely and equivalently said that Wikileaks was the lynch pin that has the Muslim world cascading like domino's. When it exposed (to our deep embarrassment) the gossip and the pitiful descriptions of world leaders, it gave all those subjugated in darkness, insight of their leaders behind closed doors.

    It all began with Tunisia and recently, the rebels in Libya found how corrupt Gadhafi and his sons were when they invaded their personal homes and booze bars. Booze being forbidden by Islam. Whats next? I think Arabia and the big fat shieks is on the list to be overturned.

    Although Julian is the scap-goat here, he has shown us how our leaders communicate behind closed doors and the fallacies in our system that should be protecting national secrets.

    He should be left off the hook and to some extent be known as a hero for us regular folks that are always kept in the dark and those ruled by iron fisted hypocrites.

    Unfortunately, people and idea's like Julian will never be squashed. It is how the Christian Bible survived and it is what movies are made of today.
    • RE: Wikileaks 'insurance' file decrypted: Names of informants exposed


      Fortunately, people and idea's like Julian will never be squashed. It is how the Christian Bible survived and it is what movies are made of today.
  • Message has been deleted.

  • the nsa will find a way..

    I wonder how long it takes before the NSA or CIA raids the guys who make the PROVOST CYPHR encryption software they have used... ;-)
    Jorgen Escher