Data released as part of a hacking attack by the Anonymous group has shown what appears to be a corporate plan to destroy WikiLeaks.
Aaron Barr, head of security services firm HBGary Federal, claimed last week to have infiltrated the Anonymous hacking group's leadership and to have identified key players.
Less than 24 hours later the group attacked HBGary Federal's servers and posted their content on file sharing sites.
An analysis of the content revealed what appears to be a proposal, written for leading US legal firm Hunton & Williams by HBGary Federal, on how to bring down WikiLeaks (PDF) through a combination of hacking and disinformation.
It was prepared in conjunction with data analysis firm Palantir Technologies and consultants Berico Technologies
The document suggests a campaign of misinformation involving feeding false documents into WikiLeaks and exposing them to discredit the site's output. Hacking attacks against the central WikiLeaks document server in Sweden were also suggested.
The presentation recommended researching the backgrounds of those involved in WikiLeaks to identify "risky behavior", and a media campaign which would " create concern and doubt among moderates".
This media campaign may also have included attacks on journalists perceived as pro-WikiLeaks. The presentation highlighted Glen Greenwald of Salon.com as a key target.
"These are established professionals that have a liberal bent, but ultimately most of them if pushed will choose professional preservation over cause, such is the mentality of most business professionals," it reads. "Without the support of people like Glenn, WikiLeaks would fold."
HBGary Federal told The New York Times in a statement that some of the files stolen and displayed may have been falsified, but the two other companies mentioned in the presentation have now issued statements on the matter.
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