Whistleblower Documents Destroyed, Former WikiLeaks Employee Claims
Know the Risk: Digital Transformation's Impact on Your Business-Critical Applications REGISTER >
Banks and other enterprises aren't the only organizations worrying about former employees stealing or destroying data when they leave the company. A former employee for the whistleblower site WikiLeaks said he "shredded" documents when he left the company earlier this year.
Daniel Domscheit-Berg, a sometime spokesperson for WikiLeaks in Germany, destroyed more than 3,500 documents when he was suspended from WikiLeaks in August 2010, German newspaper Der Spiegel reported Aug. 22 The documents were destroyed in order to prevent their sources from being compromised, Domscheit-Berg told Der Spiegel.
The irony in this case is that the malicious WikiLeaks insider destroyed information that was obtained from trusted employees at various companies and government agencies who leaked corporate secrets. WikiLeaks claimed in a statement that Domscheit-Berg removed the data from the servers, sabotaged the online submission system, and stole money and internal documentation when he was suspended for violating WikiLeaks' policies. He went on to set up a rival Website, OpenLeaks, in December, but the site has remained largely inactive since its launch.
"We can confirm that DDB claimed to have destroyed data that included a copy of the entire U.S. no-fly list," WikiLeaks posted on Twitter.
WikiLeaks claimed the document trove included internal communications of around 20 neo-Nazi organizations, United States intercept arrangements for over a hundred Internet companies and 5 GB of data obtained from the Bank of America, and the entire no-fly list. The no-fly list includes the names of individuals who are banned from boarding airplanes in the U.S. or on planes bound for the U.S.
WikiLeaks had hinted in the past it had received a damaging set of documents that would expose a major financial institution. Observers had predicted the intended target was the Bank of America, but the information never materialized on the site. It now appears Domscheit-Berg took the data with him off the servers when he left the organization.
"The material is irreplaceable and includes substantial information on many issues of public importance, human-rights abuses, mass-telecommunications interception, banking and the planning of dozens of neo-Nazi groups. Our sources have, in some cases, risked their lives or freedom attempting to convey these disclosures to WikiLeaks and to the public," WikiLeaks said.