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Wikileaks cracks password on NATO Afghanistan document
February 27, 2009 9:14 AM   Subscribe

Wikileaks cracks NATO's Master Narrative for Afghanistan
Wikileaks has cracked the encryption to a key document relating to the war in Afghanistan. The document, titled "NATO in Afghanistan: Master Narrative", details the "story" NATO representatives are to give to, and to avoid giving to, journalists.

The encrypted document, which is dated October 6, and believed to be current, could be found on the Pentagon Central Command website "oneteam.centcom.mil", but that entire site is now down.

The password was "progress".
posted by Mwongozi (36 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
Glad to see they take security so seriously.
posted by chillmost at 9:20 AM on February 27, 2009


That's the same combination I have on my luggage!
posted by Damn That Television at 9:21 AM on February 27, 2009 [14 favorites]


...seriously? dictionary word? and a cliche one, considering the document?

fuckit. my next password will be my 'thisismypassword.' IT CAN NEVER FAIL!
posted by flibbertigibbet at 9:22 AM on February 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


*hugs the internet*
posted by DU at 9:22 AM on February 27, 2009


I thought Wikileaks was a more passive clearinghouse for stuff that comes from other groups and individuals? That they were trying to be a news reporting organization rather than investigating.
posted by Science! at 9:24 AM on February 27, 2009


But it is interesting that Jordan still seems to be on that document. I can't imagine that after 7 years that's a 'failure to remove the name' sort of situation.
posted by flibbertigibbet at 9:24 AM on February 27, 2009


I'm trying to wrap my head around which is weirder, that the pentagon stores encrypted documents in a publicly available place, that their password was something that any dictionary attack would defeat in a few seconds, or that a site is admitting to having done this possibly illegal thing.

Not saying that the documents aren't interesting, just that the whole situation leading to their release is sort of surreal. If it were used as a plot device in a movie, I'd probably call bullshit.
posted by quin at 9:36 AM on February 27, 2009


I can only assume this is some sort of ARG, except with bombs and stuff.
posted by lumensimus at 9:39 AM on February 27, 2009 [3 favorites]


That's a pretty easy password, but I admit I would've started guessing with "c1usterfuck" or maybe "lynd0nBj0hns0n"
posted by drjimmy11 at 9:51 AM on February 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


So... they don't have a copy of the document on their own site, and left it on the now-closed .mil site? Either I'm overlooking something in all the metadata on the Wikileaks site or they should taken the candy out of the candy store.
posted by crapmatic at 9:53 AM on February 27, 2009


Oh, duh, never mind... "Download from...."; I see it now. Need more caffeine.
posted by crapmatic at 9:55 AM on February 27, 2009


Taking the candy out of the candy store gets you probably a longer sentence than telling the other kids that the back door is unlocked. Although in this situation the difference may be minute.
posted by spicynuts at 9:57 AM on February 27, 2009


I'd like to think that this were some kind of deliberate psy op effort to leak information, but it's suspiciously close to a maxim I live by: never assume malice as the motivation for something incompetence would explain.
posted by BrotherCaine at 9:58 AM on February 27, 2009


this is flummery.
posted by clavdivs at 10:02 AM on February 27, 2009


The talking points for some press flaks hardly count as "key documents".
posted by Nelson at 10:06 AM on February 27, 2009 [3 favorites]


Elaborate double-bluff. We're supposed to assume this is a faked document for misinformation purposes given the ridiculous ease with which it was obtained, whereas in fact if each letter is assigned its Scrabble score and the resulting numbers are entered into Google Earth, what results is a fly-by video that traverses the Khyber Pass, swoops by Tora Bora and ends up circling a small compound outside Parachinar, FATA, where a strangely familiar bearded figure appears to be showing his arse to the camera satellite.
posted by Abiezer at 10:08 AM on February 27, 2009 [11 favorites]


I'd like to think that this were some kind of deliberate psy op effort to leak information, but it's suspiciously close to a maxim I live by: never assume malice as the motivation for something incompetence would explain.

I used to be very anti-corporate and felt that the big multi-nationals were actively trying to screw people. Then I started doing some work for them and soon realized that they weren't trying to actively rape the world, they just wanted money and really didn't think of the consequences of unfettered capitalism. They weren't evil, just stupid.
posted by Pollomacho at 10:12 AM on February 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


-from ISAF STRATCOM
e. Counter Disinformation and Correct Misinformation. In an environment where
fact is hard to come by and where insecurity hampers access rumour,
misinformation and disinformation flourish. The longer a false piece of information
is circulating without a response, the greater the likelihood of it being accepted as
fact. ISAF will therefore firmly and rapidly counter disinformation and correct
misinformation. To achieve this frequent messaging from Regional Commands
(RC) is required and should include not just the hard facts but also the human
interest ‘vignettes’ that bring the facts to life.'

vignettes?
posted by clavdivs at 10:13 AM on February 27, 2009


"The password was 'progress'."

Wow. I work for an ISP, and we always insist on a password which is not purely a dictionary word, and that's just for email/access, not classified military documents. That's amazing. And why is it on a publicly accessible site?
posted by krinklyfig at 10:27 AM on February 27, 2009


-from ISAF STRATCOM
e. Disinformation and Misinformation. In an environment where
fact is hard to come by and where insecurity hampers access rumour,
misinformation and disinformation flourish. The longer a false piece of information is circulating without a response, the greater the likelihood of it being accepted as fact. ISAF will therefore firmly and rapidly achieve this. Frequent messaging from Regional Commands (RC) is required and should include not just the hard "facts" but also the human interest ‘vignettes’ that bring the "facts to life".'
<>

there, decrypted that one for you.

posted by geos at 10:28 AM on February 27, 2009


NO AUTHOR FOUND NO BACKLINK FOUND "I used to be very anti-corporate and felt that the big multi-nationals were actively trying to screw people. Then I started doing some work for them and soon realized that they weren't trying to actively rape the world, they just wanted money and really didn't think of the consequences of unfettered capitalism. They weren't evil, just stupid."

Evil is banal and is committed by ordinary people who feel that their participation is normal. To paraphrase Hannah Arendt.
posted by krinklyfig at 10:29 AM on February 27, 2009 [4 favorites]


I think I need to ditch metafilthy ...
posted by krinklyfig at 10:29 AM on February 27, 2009


Vignette...

In theater script and poetry writing, vignettes are short, impressionistic scenes that focus on one moment or give a trenchant impression about a character, an idea, or a setting. This type of scene is more common in recent postmodern theater, where adherence to the conventions of theatrical structure and story development are jettisoned. It is particularly influenced by contemporary notions of a scene as shown in film, video and television scripting.
posted by clavdivs at 10:45 AM on February 27, 2009


Vignette (packaging design),

a decoration technique to add colorful customization, company logo or variable data to a presentation package. Typically vignettes are made of metal or a polymer material and digitally printed in 4 color process.
posted by clavdivs at 10:47 AM on February 27, 2009


BrotherCaine: some people call that maxim Hanlon's Razor.
posted by hattifattener at 11:17 AM on February 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


Thanks Hattifattener! I didn't know where I'd picked it up, but now I realize it was from reading Heinlein. I also think "Any sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice" (Grey's law) is apropos to Pentagon leadership.
posted by BrotherCaine at 11:51 AM on February 27, 2009


It's a honeypot.

Besides, everyone knows that when you're prompted to enter your password, the only thing you should type is "your password".
posted by blue_beetle at 11:57 AM on February 27, 2009


krinklyfig: To paraphrase an opposing view, evil can be very creative and ordinary people do great wrong not because they are unaware of what they are doing (this is the view Arendt took after hearing the testimony of Eichmann - but she didn't stay until the end of the trial), but because they consider it to be right.
posted by daniel_charms at 12:36 PM on February 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


So, is this real or hoax?
posted by Vindaloo at 12:56 PM on February 27, 2009


both
posted by clavdivs at 1:08 PM on February 27, 2009


What I found remarkable is that the wikileaks people haven't been "rendered" to Jordan by now.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 1:16 PM on February 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


....yeah, they just stole everything from 'Body of Lies' website
posted by clavdivs at 1:39 PM on February 27, 2009


is this real or a hoax?

its a farce, and we are the main characters. take up the script and get working!
posted by Glibpaxman at 1:54 PM on February 27, 2009


Hitler always used his cat's name as his encoding password. What his cat's name was is still up for debate.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 8:08 AM on February 28, 2009


Swat Valley Nightmare
posted by homunculus at 11:43 AM on February 28, 2009


Afghanistan and the Soviet Withdrawal 1989 20 Years Later -- "As a tribute and memorial to the late Russian historian, General Alexander Antonovich Lyakhovsky, the National Security Archive today* posted on the Web a series of previously secret Soviet documents including Politburo and diary notes published here in English for the first time. The documents suggest that the Soviet decision to withdraw occurred as early as 1985, but the process of implementing that decision was excruciatingly slow, in part because the Soviet-backed Afghan regime was never able to achieve the necessary domestic support and legitimacy – a key problem even today for the current U.S. and NATO-supported government in Kabul."
*February 15
posted by Abiezer at 11:55 AM on March 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


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