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The Hacker News - Cybersecurity News and Analysis: WikiLeaks

WikiLeaks Founder Charged With Conspiring With LulzSec & Anonymous Hackers

WikiLeaks Founder Charged With Conspiring With LulzSec & Anonymous Hackers

June 25, 2020Swati Khandelwal
The United States government has filed a superseding indictment against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange accusing him of collaborating with computer hackers, including those affiliated with the infamous LulzSec and "Anonymous" hacking groups. The new superseding indictment does not contain any additional charges beyond the prior 18-count indictment filed against Assange in May 2019, but it does "broaden the scope of the conspiracy surrounding alleged computer intrusions with which Assange was previously charged," the DoJ said. In May 2019, Assange was charged with 18 counts under the old U.S. Espionage Act for unlawfully publishing classified military and diplomatic documents on his popular WikiLeaks website in 2010, which he obtained from former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning. Assange has been alleged to have obtained those classified documents by conspiring with Manning to crack a password hash to a classified U.S. Department of Defense comput
Ex-CIA Accused of Leaking Secret Hacking Tools to WikiLeaks Gets Mistrial

Ex-CIA Accused of Leaking Secret Hacking Tools to WikiLeaks Gets Mistrial

March 09, 2020Mohit Kumar
A federal judge in New York on Monday declared a mistrial in the case of a former CIA software engineer who was accused of stealing a massive trove of the agency's classified hacking and tools and leaking it to WikiLeaks whistleblower website. While the jury was unable to reach a verdict on eight counts of the theft and transmission of CIA's confidential documents, it did find ex-CIA Joshua Schulte guilty on two counts of contempt of court and making false statements to the FBI investigators. Schulte's lawyers last month asked the court for a mistrial in this case claiming the prosecutors withheld evidence that could exonerate his client during the four-week trial in the Manhattan federal court. Potentially, as a result of this, jurors failed to reach a unanimous agreement on the most severe charges against Schulte after deliberating since last week. Schulte, who designed hacking tools and malware for both the CIA and NSA to break into adversaries computers,
U.S. Charges WikiLeaks' Julian Assange With Violating Espionage Act

U.S. Charges WikiLeaks' Julian Assange With Violating Espionage Act

May 24, 2019Swati Khandelwal
The United States Justice Department has unveiled charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange with 17 new counts on the alleged violation of the Espionage Act by publishing classified information through WikiLeaks website. If convicted for all counts, Assange could face a maximum sentence of 175 years in U.S. prison for his "alleged role in one of the largest compromises of classified information in the history of the United States." Assange was arrested last month in London after Ecuador abruptly withdrew his asylum and later sentenced to 50 weeks in U.K. prison for breaching his bail conditions in 2012. The 47-year-old is currently facing extradition to the United States for his role in publishing thousands of classified diplomatic and military documents on WikiLeaks in 2010 that embarrassed the U.S. governments across the world. Though the previous indictment charged Assange with just one count of helping former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning c
WikiLeaks' Julian Assange Sentenced to 50 Weeks in UK Jail

WikiLeaks' Julian Assange Sentenced to 50 Weeks in UK Jail

May 01, 2019Mohit Kumar
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been sentenced to 50 weeks—for almost a year—in prison by a London court for breaching his bail conditions in 2012 and taking refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy for nearly 7 years. The 47-year-old Assange was arrested last month by London's Metropolitan Police Service after the Ecuadorian government suddenly withdrew his political asylum . Within hours of his arrest, Assange was convicted at Westminster Magistrates' Court of skipping bail in June 2012 after an extradition order to Sweden over claims of sexual assault and rape allegations made by two women. Although Sweden dropped its preliminary investigation into the rape accusation against Julian Assange in 2017, Assange chose not to leave the Ecuadorian Embassy due to fears of extradition to the United States. In the Southwark Crown Court today Judge Deborah Taylor gave Assange a sentence close to the maximum of a year in custody, saying it was hard to "envisage a more ser
WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange Arrested After Ecuador Withdraws Asylum

WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange Arrested After Ecuador Withdraws Asylum

April 11, 2019Mohit Kumar
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been arrested at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London—that's almost seven years after he took refuge in the embassy to avoid extradition to Sweden over a sexual assault case. According to a short note released by London's Metropolitan Police Service, Assange was arrested immediately after the Ecuadorian government today withdraws his political asylum. Assange has now been taken into custody at a central London police station, from where he will be presented before Westminster Magistrates' Court as soon as possible. U.S. Department of Justice also confirmed today that Assange would face extradition proceedings for his alleged role in "one of the largest compromises of classified information in the history of the United States." "The indictment [unsealed today] alleges that in March 2010, Assange engaged in a conspiracy with Chelsea Manning, a former intelligence analyst in the U.S. Army, to assist Manning in cracki
Secret Charges Against Julian Assange Revealed Due to "Cut-Paste" Error

Secret Charges Against Julian Assange Revealed Due to "Cut-Paste" Error

November 16, 2018Mohit Kumar
Has Wikileaks founder Julian Assange officially been charged with any unspecified criminal offense in the United States? — YES United States prosecutors have accidentally revealed the existence of criminal charges against Wikileaks founder Julian Assange in a recently unsealed court filing in an unrelated ongoing sex crime case in the Eastern District of Virginia. Assistant US Attorney Kellen S. Dwyer, who made this disclosure on August 22, urged the judge to keep the indictment [ pdf ] prepared against Assange sealed (secret) "due to the sophistication of the defendant, and the publicity surrounding the case." Dwyer is assigned to the WikiLeaks case. Dwyer also said the charges would "need to remain sealed until Assange is arrested in connection with the charges" in the indictment and can, therefore "no longer evade or avoid arrest and extradition in this matter." WikiLeaks, the website that published thousands of classified U.S. government do
Accused CIA Leaker Faces New Charges of Leaking Information From Prison

Accused CIA Leaker Faces New Charges of Leaking Information From Prison

November 02, 2018Swati Khandelwal
Joshua Adam Schulte , a 30-year-old former CIA computer programmer who was indicted over four months ago  for masterminding the largest leak of classified information in the agency's history, has now been issued three new charges. The news comes just hours after Schulte wrote a letter to the federal judge presiding over his case, accusing officials at Manhattan Metropolitan Correctional Center of interfering with his case pleading and subjecting him to "cruel and unusual punishment" in pre-trial detention. "The shit-filled showers where you leave dirtier than when you entered; the flooding of the tiers and cages with ice-cold water; the constant blast of cold air as we are exposed to extreme cold without blankets or long-sleeve shirts; the uncontrollable lights that are always on as we are sleep deprived...No human being should ever have to experience this torture," Schulte wrote. Schulte, who once designed hacking tools and malware for both the CIA and
Julian Assange will no longer be the editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks

Julian Assange will no longer be the editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks

September 28, 2018Wang Wei
Julian Assange, the founder of popular whistleblower website WikiLeaks, is stepping down from the position of editor-in-chief of the organisation under "extraordinary circumstances." Assange, the 47-year-old Australian hacker, founded WikiLeaks in 2006 and has since made many high-profile leaks, exposing 'dirty' secrets of several individuals, political parties as well as government organisations across the world. Assange has been forced to live in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London since June 2012, after he was granted asylum by the Ecuador government when a British court ordered his extradition to Sweden to face questioning sexual assault and rape. Ecuador has cut Assange off the Internet and any communication with the outside world except for his lawyers since late March this year, making it difficult for him to do his job of editor-in-chief to run WikiLeaks. Wikileaks Appoints Its New Editor-in-Chief According to a recent tweet from Wikileaks, those
Activist Leaks 11,000 Private Messages from WikiLeaks' Twitter Chats

Activist Leaks 11,000 Private Messages from WikiLeaks' Twitter Chats

July 30, 2018Mohit Kumar
An activist has just leaked thousands of private messages of an organization that's been known to publishing others' secrets. More than 11,000 direct messages from a Twitter group used by WikiLeaks and around 10 close supporters have been posted online by journalist and activist Emma Best, exposing private chats between 2015 and 2017. The leaked chats have been referenced by American media outlets earlier this year, but for the very first time, all 11,000 messages have been published online, allowing anyone to scroll through and read messages themselves. "The chat is presented nearly in its entirety, with less than a dozen redactions made to protect the privacy and personal information of innocent, third parties. The redactions don't include any information that's relevant to WikiLeaks or their activities," Best said. The leaked DMs of the private Twitter chat group, dubbed " Wikileaks +10 " by Best, show WikiLeak's strong Republican favoritism,
Ecuador to Withdraw Asylum for Wikileaks Founder Julian Assange

Ecuador to Withdraw Asylum for Wikileaks Founder Julian Assange

July 21, 2018Mohit Kumar
After protecting WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for almost six years, Ecuador is now planning to withdraw its political asylum, probably next week, and eject him from its London embassy—eventually would turn him over to the British authorities. Lenín Moreno, the newly-elected President of Ecuador, has arrived in London this Friday to give a speech at Global Disability Summit on 24 July 2018. However, media reports suggest the actual purpose of the President's visit is to finalize a deal with UK government to withdraw its asylum protection of Assange. According to RT editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan and the Intercept 's Glenn Greenwald, multiple sources close to the Ecuadorian Foreign Ministry and the President's office have confirmed that Julian Assange will be handed over to Britain in the coming weeks or even days. Julian Assange, 47, has been living in Ecuador's London embassy since June 2012, when he was granted asylum by the Ecuador government after a B
Ex-CIA employee charged with leaking 'Vault 7' hacking tools to Wikileaks

Ex-CIA employee charged with leaking 'Vault 7' hacking tools to Wikileaks

June 19, 2018Mohit Kumar
A 29-year-old former CIA computer programmer who was charged with possession of child pornography last year has now been charged with masterminding the largest leak of classified information in the agency's history. Joshua Adam Schulte , who once created malware for both the CIA and NSA to break into adversaries computers, was indicted Monday by the Department of Justice on 13 charges of allegedly stealing and transmitting thousands of classified CIA documents , software projects , and hacking utilities . Schulte has also been suspected of leaking the stolen archive of documents to anti-secrecy organization WikiLeaks, who then began publishing the classified information in March 2017 in a series of leaks under the name " Vault 7 ." It is yet unconfirmed whether Schulte leaked documents to WikiLeaks and if yes, then when, but he had already been a suspect since January 2017 of stealing classified national defense information from the CIA in 2016. According to
Ex-Hacker Adrian Lamo Dies at Age 37

Ex-Hacker Adrian Lamo Dies at Age 37

March 16, 2018Mohit Kumar
Adrian Lamo, the hacker who tipped off the FBI about Wikileaks whistleblower Chelsea Manning, dies at the age of 37, according to a Facebook post by his father Mario Lamo-Jiménez. "With great sadness and a broken heart I have to let know all of Adrian's friends and acquaintances that he is dead. A bright mind and compassionate soul is gone, he was my beloved son..."  he posted. At this moment the cause of death is unknown, though reportedly Adrian was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome in July 2010 and briefly hospitalized. Adrian was a former hacker, threat analyst, and writer, who had previously been behind several high-profile security breaches but gained headlines after breaking into The New York Times computer systems in 2002. Adrian was given the appellation " Homeless Hacker " by the media because once when he was unemployed he wandered the country by Greyhound bus and hacked corporations from inside abandoned buildings. He spent almost six mont
Vault 8: WikiLeaks Releases Source Code For Hive - CIA's Malware Control System

Vault 8: WikiLeaks Releases Source Code For Hive - CIA's Malware Control System

November 09, 2017Swati Khandelwal
Almost two months after releasing details of 23 different secret CIA hacking tool projects under Vault 7 series , Wikileaks today announced a new Vault 8 series that will reveal source codes and information about the backend infrastructure developed by the CIA hackers. Not just announcement, but the whistleblower organisation has also published its first batch of Vault 8 leak, releasing source code and development logs of Project Hive —a significant backend component the agency used to remotely control its malware covertly. In April this year, WikiLeaks disclosed a brief information about Project Hive , revealing that the project is an advanced command-and-control server (malware control system) that communicates with malware to send commands to execute specific tasks on the targets and receive exfiltrated information from the target machines. Hive is a multi-user all-in-one system that can be used by multiple CIA operators to remotely control multiple malware implants used
ISPs May Be Helping Hackers to Infect you with FinFisher Spyware

ISPs May Be Helping Hackers to Infect you with FinFisher Spyware

September 21, 2017Swati Khandelwal
Are you sure the version of WhatsApp, or Skype, or VLC Player installed on your device is legitimate? Security researchers have discovered that legitimate downloads of several popular applications including WhatsApp, Skype, VLC Player and WinRAR have reportedly been compromised at the ISP level to distribute the infamous FinFisher spyware also known as FinSpy. FinSpy is a highly secret surveillance tool that has previously been associated with British company Gamma Group, a company that legally sells surveillance and espionage software to government agencies across the world. The spyware has extensive spying capabilities on an infected computer, including secretly conducting live surveillance by turning ON its webcams and microphones, recording everything the victim types with a keylogger, intercepting Skype calls, and exfiltration of files. In order to get into a target's machine, FinFisher usually uses various attack vectors, including spear phishing, manual installat
Wikileaks Unveils Project Protego: CIA's Secret Missile Control System

Wikileaks Unveils Project Protego: CIA's Secret Missile Control System

September 07, 2017Swati Khandelwal
Every week since March Wikileaks has been leaking secrets from the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), which mainly focus on surveillance techniques and hacking tools employed by its agents. However this time, the whistleblower organisation has released something different from its previous Vault 7 leaks , because it's not about hacking and spying; instead, it's a—Missile Control System. Dubbed Project Protego , the PIC-based missile control system is installed on-board a Pratt and Whitney Aircraft (PWA) equipped with missile launch system, which gives it ability to hit air-to-air and air-to-ground targets. The latest leak contains four secret documents in total from the project Protego, along with "37 related documents (proprietary hardware/software manuals from Microchip Technology Inc)," WikiLeaks says. Leaked documents reveal system design, a guide on how to configure and build Protego images, and also suggest that all micro-controller un
Oops! WikiLeaks Website Defaced By OurMine

Oops! WikiLeaks Website Defaced By OurMine

August 31, 2017Wang Wei
OurMine is in headlines once again—this time for defacing WikiLeaks website. The notorious hacking group, OurMine, is known for breaching into high-profile figures and companies' social media accounts, including Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg , Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey , Google CEO Sundar Pichai , HBO , Game of Thrones and Sony's PlayStation Network (PSN). According to screenshots circulating on Twitter , the official website of WikiLeaks has reportedly been defaced by the OurMine hacking group, who left a message on the site, as shown above. WikiLeaks is a whistleblowing website that since March, has been revealing top CIA hacking secrets under Vault 7 , including the agency's ability to break into different mobile and desktop platforms , security camera live video streams , air-gap computers and many more. There is no indication of WikiLeaks servers and website been compromised, instead it seems their website has been redirected to a hacker-controlled server
Here's How CIA Spies On Its Intelligence Liaison Partners Around the World

Here's How CIA Spies On Its Intelligence Liaison Partners Around the World

August 24, 2017Swati Khandelwal
WikiLeaks has just published another Vault 7 leak, revealing how the CIA spies on their intelligence partners around the world, including FBI, DHS and the NSA, to covertly collect data from their systems. The CIA offers a biometric collection system—with predefined hardware, operating system, and software—to its intelligence liaison partners around the world that helps them voluntary share collected biometric data on their systems with each other. But since no agency share all of its collected biometric data with others, the Office of Technical Services (OTS) within CIA developed a tool to secretly exfiltrate data collections from their systems. Dubbed ExpressLane , the newly revealed CIA project details about the spying software that the CIA agents manually installs as part of a routine upgrade to the Biometric system. The leaked CIA documents reveal that the OTS officers, who maintain biometric collection systems installed at liaison services, visit their premises and se
CouchPotato: CIA Hacking Tool to Remotely Spy On Video Streams in Real-Time

CouchPotato: CIA Hacking Tool to Remotely Spy On Video Streams in Real-Time

August 10, 2017Swati Khandelwal
After disclosing CIA's strategies to hijack and manipulate webcams and microphones to corrupt or delete recordings, WikiLeaks has now published another Vault 7 leak , revealing CIA's ability to spy on video streams remotely in real-time. Dubbed ' CouchPotato ,' document leaked from the CIA details how the CIA agents use a remote tool to stealthy collect RTSP/H.264 video streams. Real Time Streaming Protocol, or RTSP, is a network control protocol designed for use in entertainment and communication systems for controlling streaming media servers. CouchPotato gives CIA hackers ability to "collect either the stream as a video file (AVI) or capture still images (JPG) of frames from the stream that are of significant change from a previously captured frame," a leaked CIA manual reads. The tool utilises FFmpeg for video and image encoding and decoding and Real Time Streaming Protocol connectivity. The CouchPotato tool works stealthily without leaving
WikiLeaks Reveals CIA Teams Up With Tech to Collect Ideas For Malware Development

WikiLeaks Reveals CIA Teams Up With Tech to Collect Ideas For Malware Development

July 19, 2017Swati Khandelwal
As part of its ongoing Vault 7 leaks , the whistleblower organisation WikiLeaks today revealed about a CIA contractor responsible for analysing advanced malware and hacking techniques being used in the wild by cyber criminals. According to the documents leaked by WikiLeaks, Raytheon Blackbird Technologies, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) contractor, submitted nearly five such reports to CIA as part of UMBRAGE Component Library (UCL) project between November 2014 and September 2015. These reports contain brief analysis about proof-of-concept ideas and malware attack vectors — publically presented by security researchers and secretly developed by cyber espionage hacking groups. Reports submitted by Raytheon were allegedly helping CIA's Remote Development Branch (RDB) to collect ideas for developing their own advanced malware projects. It was also revealed in previous Vault 7 leaks that CIA's UMBRAGE malware development teams also borrow codes from publicly avail
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