WikiLeaks Posts Mysterious Insurance File

Published on WIRED.com, by Kim Zetter, July 30, 2010.

In the wake of strong U.S. government statements condemning WikiLeaks’ recent publishing of 77,000 Afghan War documents, the secret-spilling site has posted a mysterious encrypted file labeled “insurance.”

The huge file, posted on the Afghan War page at the WikiLeaks site, is 1.4 GB and is encrypted with AES256. The file’s size dwarfs the size of all the other files on the page combined. The file has also been posted on a torrent download site.

WikiLeaks, on Sunday, posted several files containing the 77,000 Afghan war documents in a single “dump” file and in several other files containing versions of the documents in various searchable formats. 

Cryptome, a separate secret-spilling site, has speculated that the new file added days later may have been posted as insurance in case something happens to the WikiLeaks website or to the organization’s founder, Julian Assange. In either scenario, WikiLeaks volunteers, under a prearranged agreement with Assange, could send out a password or passphrase to allow anyone who has downloaded the file to open it.

It’s not known what the file contains but it could include the balance of data that U.S. Army intelligence analyst Bradley Manning claimed to have leaked to Assange before he was arrested in May … //

… Several media outlets have found the names of Afghan informants in the documents WikiLeaks published, as well as information identifying their location in some instances. A Taliban spokesman told Britain’s Channel 4 news that the group was sifting through the WikiLeaks documents to get the names of suspected informants and would punish anyone found to have collaborated with the United States and its allies.

Wired.com has sent a message to WikiLeaks inquiring about the file. (full text).

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