Wikileaks data release causes diplomatic chaos

29 Nov 2010

Wikileaks has obtained a cache of quarter of a million cables from the US embassy, exposing a plethora of information, including how China’s Politburo directed last year’s hack on Google’s internal systems.

The data was made available to a number of media outlets, such as the The New York Times and The Guardian. Much of the data was dated from 1966 up to this February.

Among the cache, it was revealed that China’s Politburo directed the hack into Google’s systems last year.

A Chinese contact told the US embassy in Beijing it was part of a co-ordinated campaign undertaken by government operatives, security experts and cyber criminals who were hired by the Chinese government to undertake this sabotage.

The leaked data also revealed they broke into the US government computers, Western allies, the Dalai Lama and American businesses since 2002.

Google believed the attacks were made to access the email accounts of Chinese human rights activists and that the attack on two Gmail accounts was mostly unsuccessful.

However, the company said an investigation showed that numerous activists in America, China and Europe had their accounts “routinely accessed by third parties.”

Wikileaks to be designated a terrorist organisation?

Other sensitive data released to the press includes information on how the US spied on the UN, clashes with Europe over CIA officers who accidentally kidnapped and held an innocent German citizen for months and how the king of Saudi Arabia urged the US to attack Iran in order to destroy its nuclear weapons.

The leak has caused diplomatic chaos for the US. Peter King, the next chairman for the House Homeland Security Committee has called for Wikileaks to be designated as a terrorist organisation.

Wikileaks said its website was also subject to a “mass distributed denial of service attack” just prior to the release of the data. A hacker, who calls himself the Jester (or the th3j35t3r) claimed repsonsibility for this attack, acting fo his own, saying it was “for attempting to endanger the lives of our troops, ‘other assets’ & foreign relations.”

Wikileaks will leak the full details from the cables in stages over the coming months.