Too Much Transparency

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Rob Daly, Sell-Side Technology

If peoples’ reputations are judged by the enemies they make, the reputation of Julian Assange of Wikileaks is bouncing somewhere between the ionosphere and exosphere.

Although a bane to governments everywhere, Assange may have overplayed his hand. Government leaks are nothing new, but his promise that Wikileaks would release a "megaleak" of material from a large US bank sometime early in 2011 has made him a whole new set of enemies.

The target could be Bank of America (BofA) due to a previous 2009 Computerworld interview in which Assange stated that Wikileaks had 5GB worth of data from a BofA executive's hard drive.

However, getting that message out might be more difficult than the leak site expected. After a script-kiddie delayed the megaleak of US State Department documents with a distributed denial of service (DDOS) attack at the beginning of the week, Wikileaks turned to Amazon to run its servers in the vendor's cloud, but was rebuffed.

One way to prevent the damaging bank information from getting out is to use economic muscle to make Wikileaks a pariah in the internet service provider (ISP) and cloud community, but that's really just a holding action.

Leaks get out—they always do. If it's not done by Wikileaks, it will be by someone else.

Germany's Spiegel media outlet reports that former members of Wikileaks have already begun laying the groundwork for another whistle-blowing site that will not be as US-focused as Wikileaks, citing Daniel Domscheit-Berg, former Wikileaks member and one of the founders of the new site.

How can firms prevent a similar fate in the future? There's always updating the security protocols, but this behavior will be the new norm. Disgruntled employees will always find a way to smuggle data out of the organization and feed it to sites like Wikileaks for dissemination.

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