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WikiLeaks Assange accused of conspiring with anonymous hackers

Bloomberg Virginia (USA) | Updated on June 25, 2020 Published on June 25, 2020

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange conspired with hackers affiliated with the Anonymous and LulzSec groups, which have been linked to numerous cyber attacks around the world, according to new indictment by the United States (US) Justice Department.

Assange, whos detained in the United Kingdom (UK) on a US extradition request, gave the leader of LulzSec a list of targets to hack in 2012 and told this person that the most influential release of hacked materials would be from the Central Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency or the New York Times, according to a statement Wednesday from the Justice Department.

The LulzSec leader was cooperating with the Federal Bureau of Investigation at the time, according to the statement.

An Anonymous and LulzSec-affiliated hacker stole emails through a data breach of an American intelligence consulting company that were published in WikiLeaks, according to the statement. Assange indirectly asked that hacker to spam that company again, the US said.

The indictment released Wednesday doesnt add new charges against Assange but broadens the conspiracy allegations against him, according to the Justice Department. The indictment continues to allege that Assange conspired with Army Intelligence Analyst Chelsea Manning to crack a password hash to a classified US Department of Defense computer, the US said.

The US has charged Assange with endangering national security by conspiring to obtain and disclose classified information. Hes accused of working with Manning to get classified documents from databases containing about 90,000 Afghanistan war-related activity reports, 400,000 Iraq war-related reports and 250,000 State Department cables.

The docket in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, doesnt list a lawyer representing Assange in the criminal case. The U.K. firm representing Assange in the extradition proceeding didnt immediately respond to an email seeking comment on the new indictment sent outside regular business hours.

The case is US vs Assange, 18-cr-00111, US District Court, Eastern District of Virginia (Alexandria).

Published on June 25, 2020
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