Is The CIA Hosting A Wikileaks Mirror? [Updated]

from the honeypot-or-not? dept

Whatis42? points us to an interesting post on Reddit, which is initially just highlighting a Google heatmap showing the locations from which people are searching for the term "wikileaks." Not surprisingly, the hottest spot on the heatmap is the Northern Virginia, Washington DC area. Shocking, I know.

But, perhaps more interesting is a comment on the thread, which notes that it appears at least one of the Wikileaks mirrors appears to be hosted by the CIA, or at the very least a company associated with the CIA using (for a time) a CIA netblock. The address, wikileaks.psytek.net no longer appears to be hosting anything (right now it just leads you to a standard Apache install page that says "It works!"). There's an interesting discussion in the Reddit comments over what this means -- ranging from everything to someone suggesting this is just a joke, to the "honeypot" question, to the one that seems most plausible to me: as a mirror that is quickly updated as Wikileaks puts up new documents, it allows the CIA to get access to what's being released as quickly as possible. Updated: And, as noted in the comments, it appears the answer is "no." Or, at least, if it is, it ain't this particular site.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    icon
    Nastybutler77 (profile), Dec 10th, 2010 @ 10:11pm

    Alright tin hat brigade. Mount up.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    DoxAvg, Dec 10th, 2010 @ 10:15pm

    For extra tin hat goodness

    Here's where the article about this _used_ to be on BoingBoing: http://www.boingboing.net/2010/12/10/cias-honeypot-wikile.html

    Shortly after, it disappeared from their front page, and the URL now returns a 404.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Adam Turetzky (profile), Dec 10th, 2010 @ 11:12pm

    Oops

    If this was intentional or a quick experiment by an employee it's a huge legal blunder in relation to this drama

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      The eejit (profile), Dec 11th, 2010 @ 1:06am

      Re: Oops

      that's the BEST case scenario. Worst case is that Sen. Liebercunt tries to grandstand this into an operating within US jurisdiction.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Albert, Dec 11th, 2010 @ 2:31am

    rsync ip

    Maybe the CIA set up a mirror so they would be able to find out the IP-address of the server used to rsync the files up to the mirrors..

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Hydroxyl, Dec 11th, 2010 @ 2:33am

    The main domain now appears to lead to a wikileaks mirror. http://www.psytek.net

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2010 @ 2:35am

      Re:

      Oops... no www, just http://psytek.net

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        Ken Downs, Dec 11th, 2010 @ 7:26am

        Re: Re: psytek.net

        Here is what psytek.net shows on Saturday morning:

        --- begin quote ---
        Concerned Internet Citizens,

        I am the admin of psytek.net and I have just come online to tell you what I have found, after recieving a phonecall from a close friend when he saw my domain was linked to the CIA via Wikileaks.

        Yes, I decided to run a Wikileaks mirror last weekend as way of participating and helping keep information free and ultimately human freedom.

        Upon closer analysis over the last few hours it appears my site has been compromised by CIA operatives who have attempted to discover the source of the Wikileaks mirror source.

        I do not know how successful they were, only that they did manage to log all incoming traffic. Including inbound web traffic of users inside the United States trying to view the Wikileaks mirror.

        Please everyone becareful when browsing these Wikileaks sites as it appears that someone is actively monitoring us for knowing the truth!

        I intend to keep my Wikileaks mirror up to not be deterred by my scare today.

        Regards,

        psytek.net

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          identicon
          MAC, Dec 12th, 2010 @ 6:46am

          Re: Re: Re: psytek.net

          Yeah, freedom of speech is one thing but consider this:
          Lets say this stuff contains something that starts WW III. Big time...

          So, how does freedom of speech apply when EVERYONE is dead in a nuclear war?

          Explain that to me. Do you have freedom of speech when everyone is dead?

          You fools don't know what you are playing with...

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          •  
            identicon
            Enrico Suarve, Dec 13th, 2010 @ 6:34am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: psytek.net

            Fire - we are playing with fire.

            It's widely accepted that cavemen started the game a long time ago and yes a few people have been burned since but it's also widely accepted that on the whole it's been something of a success.

            Fancy joining the human race and opening yourself to a little risk or are you happy to stay in the dark and chew on raw meat?

            Your choice.

             

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          •  
            icon
            CommonSense (profile), Dec 13th, 2010 @ 7:57am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: psytek.net

            If everyone is dead, then there is no corrupt, overbearing government entity to try and censor your speech.

            So, to answer your question, Yes, we do have freedom of speech when everyone is dead. More importantly, those that died defending that freedom, have died a good death.

             

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          •  
            icon
            Michael Lockyear (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 5:45am

            "Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety" - Benjamin Franklin

            The recent leaks have only proven what we already knew: politicians and diplomats lie in public and tell the brutal truth in private (as is often the case for anyone who operates in a "politically correct" environment).

            I am interested to hear how this might trigger world war 3?

             

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    sanitybit, Dec 11th, 2010 @ 2:45am

    Misinformation

    I wrote a blog post detailing the birth and growth of this rumor presented as fact.

    http://breakingthecalm.blogspot.com/2010/12/musing-on-misinformation-morons.html

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      DoxAvg, Dec 11th, 2010 @ 6:33am

      Re: Misinformation

      @sanitybit: of course, the beauty of the thing is that once you get the conspiracy taint, everything you wrote there is precisely what a cover-up would look like. Never mind that a good cover-up and pointing out the truth are at this point indistiguishable; that's what makes it a _good_ cover-up. :-)

      In a rational analysis (still leaving Occam's razor out of the picture), all of the counter-arguments you made are post-facto; if I were to submit the hypothesis that it _was_ part of a CIA netblock when the rumor was started, but was quickly moved to some VPS as soon as word got out, none of the information you presented would refute that. So, while lack of evidence is not evidence of lack, your blog post really does nothing to refute the accusation. Out of your entire excoriation of the blogosphere, you have only a few facts about what the netblocks are _now_, not addressing the original accusation.

      Isn't this fun?

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        sanitybit, Dec 11th, 2010 @ 10:44am

        Re: Re: Misinformation

        Of course, that's why the CIA hired me to do PR and Damage Control.

        Netcraft is providing a historical analysis. My point wasn't to totally refute the claims, but to question how information based on rumor with no evidence to back it up was treated as fact by people inside of the security community and news sites and spread around the internet.

        The original author of the rumor still hasn't presented any evidence that would indicate that the CIA was running the mirror, other than his homebrew script reporting that it was based on the netblock.

        The burden of proof is not on me, it's on the people who made the initial claim.

        P.S. "Google Search Readily Reveals Xeni Jardin As A Covert CIA Operative" - http://imgur.com/8gW3U.png ;)

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Alex Andersson, Dec 11th, 2010 @ 4:55am

    WHOIS says otherwise...

    Try a reverse-DNS lookup on the domain. It is registered by someone with an address in Melbourne, Australia.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Jim, Dec 11th, 2010 @ 10:28am

      Re: WHOIS says otherwise...

      Phew.... because we all know the CIA has no influence outside of their little hidey hole in N VA.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2010 @ 7:30am

    He has a rely to this posted now in place of the mirror:

    "Concerned Internet Citizens,

    I am the admin of psytek.net and I have just come online to tell you what I have found, after recieving a phonecall from a close friend when he saw my domain was linked to the CIA via Wikileaks.

    Yes, I decided to run a Wikileaks mirror last weekend as way of participating and helping keep information free and ultimately human freedom.

    Upon closer analysis over the last few hours it appears my site has been compromised by CIA operatives who have attempted to discover the source of the Wikileaks mirror source.

    I do not know how successful they were, only that they did manage to log all incoming traffic. Including inbound web traffic of users inside the United States trying to view the Wikileaks mirror.

    Please everyone becareful when browsing these Wikileaks sites as it appears that someone is actively monitoring us for knowing the truth!

    I intend to keep my Wikileaks mirror up to not be deterred by my scare today.

    Regards,

    psytek.net"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Whatis42? (profile), Dec 11th, 2010 @ 7:50am

    Should I put my tinfoil hat back on?

    Was that post on psytek.net a joke or was the guy serious?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    J.J., Dec 11th, 2010 @ 8:32am

    I'd be surprized if the CIA DIDNT run a mirror tbh, not a public one mind you.
    When it's so easy to get the information handed right to them, why on earth would they wait for media reports instead of just hosting a mirror internally and monitor updates on it?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Rick Hornstein, Dec 12th, 2010 @ 10:38am

    a ruse

    What truths have been uncovered? None that would dissuade the general world citizenry to stop support of the current or future wars. No clue as to what organizations, families, countries are behind the bloodshed. No tools to end violence, nothing we didn't know, but in fact a rational for the future restriction of internet data distribution and a ruse that something of value has been done. Very embarrassing.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    ignorant_s (profile), Dec 12th, 2010 @ 10:39am

    No restraint

    "So, how does freedom of speech apply when EVERYONE is dead in a nuclear war?

    Explain that to me. Do you have freedom of speech when everyone is dead?

    You fools don't know what you are playing with..."

    Do not fear, free press, asserting your power against the the government and the corporate powers that be!

    Their actions just show they fear the education and illumination of the masses. They have a vested interest in keeping opinions in check, as without such control, the government and corporate powers simply fear their arbitrary claims to power will somehow be diminished. You see, it is through the enlightenment of the people, that their power could be destroyed.

    The free press (those without vested interest in the advertisers they serve) directly challenges a government's justification for their behavior in one arena or another. Here, it is the government who obviously is fearful. This is an information revolution of sorts, it is not a war in the militaristic sense of the word.... so

    Do not fear... it is the paradox of one generation, that becomes common in the next. This is a new order of freedom of information. Never before has information been so widely available. There are no longer the borders or physical boundaries limiting the power of the free press to allow people access to information and opinion garnered from so many possible sources.

    Clearly, people who chose to act in direct contradiction to the powers that be must greatly consider whether or not to tell the truth however important it is to the greater good. It is going to be fear that restrains the common man to stand up against political power. The power brokers (including corporations) fear the common man's ability to destroy this power of restraint.

    No. These people, including Assange, are no fools playing a game, they are the representatives of a greater movement enforcing our civil right to choose how to be governed and who we choose to be governed by.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This