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Friday, 26 June 2020 11:47

US claims Assange tried to recruit LulzSec head to steal data

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US claims Assange tried to recruit LulzSec head to steal data Courtesy YouTube

A federal grand jury in the United States has issued a second indictment against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, charging him with recruiting hackers to commit computer intrusions to benefit the whistle-blower website.

The Justice Department said on Thursday the new indictment did not add any new counts but broadened the scope of the conspiracy surrounding the intrusions with which Assange was charged earlier.

The indictment claimed in 2010, Assange had gained unauthorised access to a government computer in a NATO country. It added that in 2012, Assange communicated with Hector "Sabu" Monsegur, the leader of the hacking group LulzSec — who was then co-operating with the FBI — and gave him a list of targets to hack.

It said in the case of one target, Assange asked Monsegur to look for (and provide to WikiLeaks) mail and documents, databases and PDFs.

In another communication, Assange told Monsegur that the most impactful release of hacked materials would be from the CIA, NSA, or the New York Times, the indictment alleged.

"WikiLeaks obtained and published emails from a data breach committed against an American intelligence consulting company by an 'Anonymous' and LulzSec-affiliated hacker. According to that hacker, Assange indirectly asked him to spam that victim company again," it said.

"In addition, the broadened hacking conspiracy continues to allege that Assange conspired with Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to crack a password hash to a classified US Department of Defence computer."

Assange is being held in the Belmarsh high-security prison in the UK awaiting a trial to determine if the UK will extradite him to the US to face these and previously filed charges.


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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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