Cablegate: WikiLeaks downloads, leaks U.S. diplomatic cables

Julian Assange's gang leaks U.S. State Department secrets; WikiLeaks cables allege China hacked Google; first Cablegate batch available for download now.

Julian Assange (The Guardian)
By Richi Jennings. November 29, 2010.

WikiLeaks has leaked 251,287 U.S. diplomatic cables, which it previously downloaded from an anonymous mole. Julian Assange, editor-in-chief of the whistleblower website, unoriginally dubs it, "Cablegate." In IT Blogwatch, bloggers home in on revelations about China's "Aurora" attacks on Google and others.

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment. Not to mention Learning Something New...

Robert McMillan reports:

The U.S. Embassy in Beijing was told by an unidentified Chinese contact that China's Politburo "directed the intrusion into Google's computer systems" ... [said] a single leaked State Department cable. ... The cable is another piece of evidence, albeit thinly sourced, linking China to the Google attack.


Google was one of more than 30 companies targeted in the attacks, known as Aurora ... [apparently] to access the Gmail accounts of human rights activists. ... The latest blockbuster disclosure to come from the document-leaking organization.

Cade Metz addz:

The US State Department cables showed ... the campaign had also hacked machines belonging to the American government, its Western Allies, the Dalai Lama, and various American businesses.


WikiLeaks has promised to release the cables "in stages." ... The documents expose daily communication ... [with] about 270 embassies and consulates. The White House condemned the release ... calling them "stolen and classified documents."

Dean Takahashi takes all sorts:

WikiLeaks ... released a new trove of 250,000 confidential American diplomatic cables ... [which] allegedly reveal all sorts of secret views by the Obama administration of all sorts of foreign incidents.


So far, the report doesn’t offer further details, such as just how credible the Chinese source was believed to be and whether there was other corroborating evidence.

Mike McCarthy channels U.S. criticism:

WikiLeaks, a self-proclaimed whistleblower, has not identified the source of the ... documents ... [and] proceeded with publishing the cables despite the strongest objections of the US government ... [which] views the publishing as a potential threat to ... security and stability, as well as to human rights activists and political dissidents.


The White House called the unauthorized release 'reckless' and 'dangerous' and demanded that WikiLeaks ... put an end to the publication of classified US material.

Alex Pasternack, too:

The newspapers are using discretion around information contained in the cables ... [but] the Chinese central leadership knows it has a mole on its hands. It is unnerving to think about what could happen to him or her if uncovered.


The chances that America has a reliable source on the inside of the Politburo seem small, so take this accusation with a grain of salt.

Ahh, now Erick Schonfeld understands:

The cables should shed some more light on why the White House and State Department backed Google so vociferously at the time.

Robert Mullins told ya so:

I have reported previously ... about the suspicions of cyber security experts of the duplicity of government officials in various countries ... in supporting or even just condoning cyber crime. Today we’ve got more proof of institutional involvement.

And Finally...

Learning Something New

Don't miss out on IT Blogwatch:

Richi Jennings, your humble blogwatcher
  Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and security. A cross-functional IT geek since 1985, you can follow him as @richi on Twitter, pretend to be richij's friend on Facebook, or just use good old email:

You can also read Richi's full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations.

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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