The Threat from Inside

By Kevin Coleman -- Defense Tech Cyberwarfare Correspondent

The investigations into Wikileaks and other web sites that have been brought under scrutiny are in full swing now. The U.S. investigations have turned up the heat and convinced a federal judge in U.S. district court in Alexandria, VA, to expand the investigative inquiry and approved a subpoena for Twitter. The subpoena will provide investigators access to Twitter’s data on five WikiLeaks activists. That is five of the approximate 600,000 Wikileaks followers on Twitter. This action came on the heels of WikiLeaks revealing classified State Department cables on November 28.

Officials in the U.S. maintain that as WikiLeaks’ releases these classified military and government documents, they put intelligence assets lives at risk. They went on to say that the release of the State Department cables have had a chilling effect on their interaction with foreign officials that were in the subject matter of the cables made public. Some of the sensitive information contained in these leaked cables claimed that Saudi Arabia was a key source of funding for radical Sunni Islamist groups, including al-Qaeda. It is easy to see how the release of that data could be detrimental to the ongoing relationship between the United States and Saudi Arabia.

We have been warned time and time again about the significant danger insiders pose to information security. This is a clear example of just how devastating an insider, in this case thought to be Army Private Bradley Manning can be. Maybe now we will heed the warnings!

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