Wikileaks has posted the presentation three security companies–Palantir, HBGary Federal, and Berico Technologies–made to Bank of America, proposing to help it respond to Wikileaks.
In addition to the degree to which the proposal emphasizes the national security ties and military background of the employees of the company (particularly Berico), the presentation fleshes out what the companies proposed. Under potential proactive tactics, it lists:
- Feed the fuel between the feuding groups. Disinformation. Create messages around actions to sabotage or discredit the opposing organization. Submit fake documents and then call out the error.
- Create concern over the security of the infrastructure. Create exposure stories. If the process is believed to not be secure they are done.
- Cyber attacks against the infrastructure to get data on document submitters. This would kill the project. Since the servers are now in Sweden and France putting a team together to get access is more straightforward.
- Media campaign to push the radical and reckless nature of wikileaks activities. Sustained pressure. Does nothing for the fanatics, but creates concern and doubt amongst moderates.
- Search for leaks. Use social media to profile and identify risky behavior of employees.
Of particularly interest, they describe HBGary Federal’s abilities to conduct INFOOPS, including “influence operations” and “social media exploitation.”
In other words, in addition to proposing to conduct cyber attacks on Wikileaks’ European-based infrastructure (complete with a picture of WL’s bomb shelter-housed servers), the proposal appears to recommend that these companies be paid to troll social media, like Twitter, to not only “identify risky behavior of employees” but also, presumably, “push the radical and reckless nature of wikileaks activities.” You know–the kind of trolling we often see targeted at Glenn (and in recent days targeted against David House, who was also listed in this presentation).
In addition, the presentation proposes to create a concern over the security of the infrastructure. Interestingly, when additional newspapers in Europe got copies of the State cables (including Aftenposten), some people speculated that the files had come from a hack of Wikileaks servers. (Note how the slide above notes the disgruntled WL volunteers.)
That doesn’t mean we’re seeing this campaign in process. After all, Glenn has a ton of enemies on Twitter. And if the intent behind leaking additional copies of the cables was to suggest WL’s infrastructure had been hacked, that perception has largely dissipated as more and more newspapers get copies.
One final note: according to Tech Herald, the law firm pitching these firms, Hunton and Williams, was itself recommended to BoA by DOJ. As the presentation makes clear, these are significant government contractors. (Remember, we’re getting these documents because Anonymous hacked HBGary Federal, which was offering what it had collected to DOJ.) To what extent is what we’re seeing just an extension of what our own government is trying to combat Wikileaks?