Gillard blasts critical infrastructure list leak

By Liam Tung, Ry Crozier on Dec 7, 2010 3:42 PM
Filed under Security

Online attacks stepped up against Wikileaks' opponents.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has branded Wikileaks "grossly irresponsible" for publishing a 2008 US diplomatic cable that included details of critical infrastructure such as a submarine cable link to Australia.

The cable, released yesterday, listed an array of "critical foreign dependencies", including infrastructure and resources that were "located outside US borders and whose loss could critically impact the public health, economic security, and/or national and homeland security of the United States".

It urged embassies to check the list and submit any critical infrastructure assets it might have missed on a yearly basis.

The list included a large number of submarine cables linking other countries to the United States. Among the assets listed for Australia was a major undersea cable landing station in Sydney's north.

Gillard said today that she hoped people would "as a matter of common sense, understand how grossly unacceptable" it was to publish critical infrastructure lists.

She also said the Government was waiting on advice from the Australian Federal Police on "the potential criminal conduct of the individual involved" in the leak of the classified diplomatic cables.

Gillard alleged that "the foundation stone" of Cablegate was "an illegal act".

"The information would not be on Wikileaks if an illegal act hadn't been taken," Gillard said.

'Operation Avenge Assange' turns on PayPal

The latest criticism of the leaks came as the loose coalition of cyber vigilantes behind the 'Operation Payback' attacks on anti-piracy organisations promised to turn their efforts to Amazon, PayPal and basically any organisation or person that stifled WikiLeaks' attempt to release more than 250,000 US diplomatic cables.

Late Sunday evening, Anonymous posted a message outlining its new plans, which again involved orchestrating distributed denial of service attacks.

"We will create counter-propaganda, organising attacks (DDoS) on various targets related to censorship (time, date and target will be published by that time)," Anonymous posted.

"Operation:Payback has come out in support of Wikileaks, and has declared war on the entities involved in censoring there information."

Anonymous' past attacks caused considerable damage to some targets, such as UK anti-piracy lawfirm ACS:Law, still under investigation over a major privacy breach that occurred when its technicians responded to the attacks.

According to Spanish information security vendor Panda Labs, Anonymous launched initial attacks on PayPal's blog on Sunday evening which took the site down for seven hours.

Paypal's blog was used to announce its decision to cancel Wikileaks' account because it violated its service agreement by promoting illegal activities, according to a statement.

 
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