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Did the “insurance.aes256″ file on WikiLeaks contain the trove of cables?

A 1.4Gb Insurance file, was appended to the Afghan War Diary, 2004-2010 post. [Note: Original file has been removed, this link now broken]. To decompress the files you will apparently need the 7zip for Windows, p7zip for Unix/Linux or EZ7z for Mac.

Could it be some insurance in case WikiLeaks or, worse, Julian Assange himself is brought down? I’m guessing it’s encrypted and we’ll need a password to uncompress and decrypt it. Perhaps the threat of having it out there in many hands to decrypt is the threat they hope will keep them out of harm’s way?

Haven’t we seen something leading up to this in countless movie endings? Is it about to happen now, for real? Join a discussion group trying to decrypt it here if you have nothing better to do with your time.

I don’t wish to spoil your fun here but know this, if the encryption on that file is publicly broken then Julian loses his insurance, right? Not going to be easy then. Here are the two scenarios that cross my mind (a) He’d want to be so sure that it could not be publicly decrypted that the file may, in fact, contain nothing significant at all, other than a threatening message or (b) he expects the NSA can decrypt it and is tipping his hand to them alone — to keep them off his back.

Soon enough there will be a movie that rips this storyline from the headlines! Mark my words.

Links: How to open Wikileaks’ Insurance.AES256 file | NYT’s WikiLeaks Prompts New Diplomatic Uproar | CNN’s Apparent string of errors unties WikiLeaks’ bundle of secret cables

Was this the password to the insurance.aes256 file? From page 139 of the book WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange’s War on Secrecy by David Leigh, Luke Harding, Ed Pilkington, Robert Booth and Charles Arthur …

To the password ACollectionOfHistorySince_1966_ToThePresentDay# “You have to put the word ‘Diplomatic’ before the word ‘History’ ” Julian is quoted as saying, yielding ACollectionOfDiplomaticHistorySince_1966_ToThePresentDay#.

The aforemention insurance.aes256 file and the one which contains the diplomatic cables are not one and the same, according to The War on Transparency and cryptome.org. They quote a file called z.gpg, of approx. 350Mb, available here and, apparently unzipped by cryptome.org here.

The cables are all now exposed on the WikiLeaks site (I haven’t been there to read any of them), nor have I actually tried un-encrypting any of the files myself. My interest is in operational security (or lack thereof), the encryption choices used and the intrigue behind the exposure — especially the Daniel vs Julian saga. Ex WikiLeaks’ Daniel Domscheit-Berg’s recent claims that he had deleted the trove of data (presumably the cables) which WikiLeaks couldn’t be entrusted with — apparently connected the dots for the German media to source and un-encrypt the cables file. Here is the best summary I’ve read so far, Nigel Parry’s post Guardian Investigative Editor David Leigh publishes top secret Cablegate password revealing names of U.S. collaborators and informants… in his book

For your amusement, an absurd side plot, HBGary’s CEO Aaron Barr: Colbert Report on Corporate Hacker Tries to Take Down WikiLeaks.

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