WikiLeaks threatens "poison pill" if site shut down
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has reportedly released an encrypted "poison pill" file that contains sensitive data related to Guantanamo Bay, Afghan military ops, Bank of America and the BP oil spill.
The file - known as insurance.aes256 - is locked-down with a 256-digit key deemed virtually unbreakable by even the US Department of Defense (DoD).
Assange, who is using the sensitive data to hold governments hostage, states: "We have over a long period of time distributed encrypted backups of material we have yet to release. All we have to do is release the password to that material, and it is instantly available."
Assange explains that if any government tries to stop WikiLeaks by downing the website or detaining him, he will disseminate the "poison pill" password, allowing anyone to access the highly-embarrassing documents.
He also warns that he is in possession of additional data which may pose a security risk for US coalition partners worldwide.
The "poison pill" is a tactic thought up by Assange and his followers to discourage legal proceedings in case of serious fallout over the controversial leaks.
Ben Laurie, a UK-based computer security expert, confirmed that Assange "hopes [the 'poison pill'] deters anyone from acting against him."
Nevertheless, even with his contingency plan in full effect, Assange is facing other problems with his organization.
After hackers targeted the site with a "denial of service attack," both the hosting company, Amazon, and the domain name, EveryDNS.net, have cut off service to WikiLeaks.
However, the site has re-emerged with a Swiss address, WikiLeaks.ch, along with a new URL name provided by the champions of Internet freedom, the Swiss Pirate party. Assange has also managed to obtain new servers in Sweden.
Supporters of Internet freedom and WikiLeaks are expected to shelter Assange until he is backed into a corner, and forced to either surrender or release the network key - which will probably blow the lid off a whole new plethora of sensitive information.