WikiLeaks Reveals NATO Plans, MasterCard Focus of Cyberattack: Reports

By Erin Harrison December 08, 2010

A British website said that Washington and its western allies have for the first time since the end of the cold war drawn up secret military plans to defend the most vulnerable parts of Eastern Europe against Russian threats, according to confidential U.S. diplomatic cables.

According to the Guardian, the U.S. state department ordered an information blackout when the decision was taken earlier this year. Since January the blueprint has been refined.

“Nine NATO divisions – U.S., British, German and Polish – have been identified for combat operations in the event of armed aggression against Poland or the three Baltic states,” the Guardian report said. “North Polish and German ports have been listed for the receipt of naval assault forces and British and U.S. warships. The first NATO exercises under the plan are to take place in the Baltic next year, according to informed sources.”

On Nov. 28, 2010, WikiLeaks began publishing 251,287 leaked United States embassy cables, the largest set of confidential documents ever to be released into the public domain. “The documents will give people around the world an unprecedented insight into the U.S. government’s foreign activities,” the website said.

According to WikiLeaks, the cables cover the time period from Dec. 28, 1966 to Feb. 28, 2010 and originate from 274 embassies, consulates and diplomatic missions.

Meanwhile, WikiLeaks continues to spread anxiety around the world with its release of once-secret U.S. diplomatic documents, and the site brazenly said the publication of secret documents would not be affected by founder Julian Assange’s recent arrest.

A British judge jailed Assange yesterday, “ordering the leader of secret-spilling website behind bars as his organization's finances came under increasing pressure,” TechZone 360 reported.

In the latest twist of events, both Visa and MasterCard stopped allowing their cards to be used to send donations to WikiLeaks.

Following its severed relationship with the embattled WikiLeaks, the Associated Press reported that MasterCard is among the targets today of a cyber-attack by supporters of WikiLeaks and its jailed founder, Assange. MasterCard reportedly severed its relationship with the site on Tuesday.

A New York Times report today suggested that a “hacker army has rallied around the theory that all the actions against the organization and against Mr. Assange, including the rape accusations, are politically motivated efforts to silence those challenging authority.”

In related news, TechZone360’s InfoTech Spotlight published “The Lesson of WikiLeaks: Six Steps to Responding to a Security Crisis,” where author Mike Theriault, president and CEO of B2B Computer Products, said that if you find yourself suddenly faced with a data security breach, your goal is a quick, but considered response.


Erin Harrison is Executive Editor, Strategic Initiatives, for TMC, where she oversees the company's strategic editorial initiatives, including the launch of several new print and online initiatives. She plays an active role in the print publications and TechZone360, covering IP communications, information technology and other related topics. To read more of Erin's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Erin Monda

Executive Editor, Strategic Initiatives

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