Perhaps as a result of the recent publicity in Wired magazine about their broken security technology promises and systems, which this blog has been commenting on for a while, WikiLeakS.org now appear to have brought back their SSL / TLS session encrypted web form, for "secure" Uploads of electronic documents to the website..
No announcement or explanation or apology
Typically this has been done without any explanation or apology, on the main web site or via the Wikileaks Twitter propaganda broadcasts or press release emails.
Neither has there been any announcement or discussion of this major development on the as yet unused new Official Wikileaks Blog:
This blog is to discuss technical or community issues related to WikiLeaks and Sunshine Press that do not have a natural fit on the main WikiLeaks pages.
Note that the word "blog", like the word "wiki", has been redefined in WikiLeakS.org's Orwellian newspeak - they really mean "another channel for propaganda broadcasts, which does not allow any feedback via comments from the public", the very opposite of their usual meanings.
As always with WikiLeakS.org, there is still no clear explanation of the advantages and disadvantages or actual risks to your anonymity of using this re-launched and modified document submission method, if you are a potential whistleblower.
Worryingly, there could also be hidden tracking of the IP addresses and other web browser details of each upload submission with this new Upload Form. (see below)
Still no SSL encryption for Downloads, as there used to be
There still does not appear to be any re-introduction of the SSL / TLS encrypted web session Download option on the couple of thousand whistleblower leaked document pages, as there used to be. The only options are still the unencrypted "File" and the bittorrent Peer to Peer options "Torrent | Magnet ", which are likely to be blocked in many places.
N.B. despite the hype, there has never been "over a million" documents published on WikiLeakS.org as various media reports have claimed,
a misconception which WikiLeakS.org have deliberately never corrected.
The new Wikileaks Upload form
The new web submission form links from the main WikiLeakS.org website, as before, but instead of going to https://secure.wikileaks.org the new web form is at
A positive point is that they do publish the Digital Signature hashes which correspond to this
correspond to the new Digital Certificate:
Before submitting anything verify that the fingerprints of the SSL certificate match!
The laudable intention is to provide some sort of authentication that this data file upload form is being run by WikiLeakS.org, but not for the first time, WikiLeakS.org have made a mistake with the fundamental trust model.
However WikiLeakS.org are establishing the chain of trust from the wrong place - the new Digital Certificate and its cryptographic hash "fingerprints" help to verify that this is a sunshinepress.org web page, but they do not verify that it is a wikileaks.org one.
The Upload Form almost certainly is being run by WikiLeakS.org, only because those of us who are familiar with the history of WikiLeakS.org and who have carefully explored that website, will notice that that the WikiLeakS.org Contact Page now exclusively publishes contact email addresses using
The sunshinepress.org domain name has been a "cover name" since the beginning of the project and has been used to help collect financial donations.
Given the risks of DNS poisoning or Man-in-the-Middle attacks, WikiLeakS.org should have published these hash values on a WikiLeaks.org web page, certainly not just on the unfamiliar to most people, sunshinepress.org one.
Anyone familiar with fake internet banking "phishing" websites should have noticed this error.
The web form retains what may be the the original submission system's delayed publication / embargo request facility.
The old scheme used to explain that there was a deliberate, random delay between submission and publication, in order to help to confuse Communications Data Traffic Analysis, but perhaps, like so much else, this was not true, and just relied on the editorial approval process to introduce a delay.
It is unclear if any of this still applies with the new Upload Form.
Making a hash of the footnote
The footnote which repeats the SHA1 cryptographic hash of the Web Server's Digital Certificate, which appears on each of the subsequent pages during the data file upload process, is a bit confusing.
Each of the Leaked Document pages publishes, from the previous "secure" submission system is published with a cryptographic hash of the file which was uploaded e.g.
but without giving or pointing the website visitor or the original whistleblower to any tools to use this "fingerprint" to actually verify that the file being downloaded has not been tampered with or corrupted.
Similarly, the weaker but still adequate SHA1 hash on the footnote of Upload Form pages does not actually prove that the content of each web page it appears on has not been tampered with or corrupted - it would have to be a Digital Signature for each individual page to do that, using something like PGP (which WikiLeaks.org are stupidly still boycotting).
Courage is contagious.
At first glance it appears to be a hash of the words "Courage is contagious", which it is not. (it is debatable if the slogan is true or not).
GlobalSign Digital Certificate
The new Digital Certificate is from a recognised commercial Certificate Authority, GlobalSign nv-sa unlike the self signed one used by the WikiLeakS.org
IRQ IRC chat server.
CN = GlobalSign Domain Validation CA
O = GlobalSign nv-sa
OU = Domain Validation CA
C = BE
CN = sunshinepress.org
O = sunshinepress.org
OU = Domain Control Validated
C = SE
The GlobalSign Certificate Authority is based in Belgium, which may make it a little more resilient against a US or UK court order attempt to force them to revoke this Digital Certificate.
Lawyers have already gone after the equally neutral and illegal content free wikileaks.org domain name, so it is only a matter of time before they try the same sort of legal trickery and threat of expensive court costs, even if you win the case, with SSL Certificate Authorities as they have done with Internet Service Providers and with Domain Name registrars.
See our censorship threats from Lawyers category archive
Whether this Belgium based CA will secretly hand over the private de-cryption keys for this sunshinepress.org / wikileaks.org upload web server when faced with a Mutual Legal Aid Agreement or European Evidence Warrant from foreign intelligence or police agencies or a Belgian police warrant or Court order, remains to be seen.
At least now, this current Digital certificate from a commercial Certificate Authority is, by default, trusted by the vast majority of web browser software, which will therefore not pop up warning messages, which would certainly put off some or all sensible or paranoid whistleblowers.
Like all modern Digital Certificates it uses SHA1 and does not rely on the potentially foregable MD5 cryptographic hash, which the old WikileakS.org Digital Certificate used to.
This Digital Certificate is valid from Friday 16th July 2010 for a year:
(16/07/2010 10:47:50 GMT)
(17/07/2011 10:47:46 GMT)
It covers 3 possible domain name aliases:
All of these domain names resolve to the same IP address that the wikileaks.org ones do i.e. to
IP address: 184.108.40.206
Host name: wikileaks.org
IP address: 220.127.116.11
Host name: sunshinepress.org
They all appear to use the same kind of Reverse Proxy Server:
Via: 1.1 https-www
With this new Digital Certificate, WikiLeakS.org is back to the situation it was between its May re-launch and 12th June , when the old Digital Certificate was unprofessionally allowed to expire with any rollover to a new one.
Still no return of the Tor Hidden Service
There is still no Tor Hidden Service end to end encryption through the Tor anonymity cloud, like there used to be before the self-imposed shutdown of the website last Christmas 2009.
has been announced on the Official Wikileaks Blog and by Jacob Applebaum standingin for Julian Assange at the HOPE hackers' conference in New York.
Potential snooping via the WikiLeaks.org Upload form
If you click on the link on the WikiLeakS.org Upload Form to the Disclaimer link, or actually selct a local file from your computer and press the Submit button, or if you read the HTML source code of the form, you will see something like
in your web browser address bar.
i.e. a dynamically generated URL, which is different for each visitor or visit to the Upload Form.
If we took a charitable view, this could simply be a badly configured database driven web page Content Management System, which is producing human unfriendly URLs.
This might make sense, if WikIleakS.org was selling the content of its web pages and wanted to track each visitor's viewing habits or if they were trying to make it more difficult for valuable digital content to be indexed by web search engines.
To have this feature only on the supposedly "secure" and document file upload web form, to a supposedly "anonymous" whistleblower website makes no sense at, unless either incompetence or deliberate snooping are involved.
How can sceptical, suspicious people like us or any sane , cautious whistleblower, be assured that the 40 character 0-9, A-F, probably hexadecimal string, is not being logged by the web server hosting infrastructure e.g. the web server(s), proxy server(s) , etc. ?
Because this "unique identifier" appears in the URL path of the multi-page web form, it is visible as Communications Traffic Data to your local Internet Service Provider and other commercial and government snoopers, regardless of the fact that the rest of the web page and your actual upload is encrypted via TLS / SSL using the web server's Digital Certificate. In the European Union, for example, this Communications Data is, by law, retained for up to 3 years.
This "unique identifier" reduces the chances of the "plausible deniability" excuse during any "leak investigation" i.e. the claim that the computer used to upload some leaked document or other was not yours, but must have been someone else's within the same organisation or another customer of the same Internet Service Provider etc.
Coupled with the lack of any explicit statement by WikilLeakS.org that no web server or firewall or intrusion detection or anti-virus scanning or reverse proxy server or traffic management or load balancer etc. infrastructure at the PRQ web hosting company in Stocholm , Sweden, does not retain any IP address or other details in their log files (as all of these internet components tend to do by default) , any cautious whistleblower should assume that their supposedly secure SSL encrypted web upload session will leave electronic traces which may very well betray their identity, especially to the Swedish police and intelligence agencies and to WikiLeakS.org insiders.
Unless and until WikIleakS.org either clearly explain these unique identifiers in the web pages, or , better still, simply remove them, then we will advice people not to use this new, supposedly secure and anonymous, whistleblower document data file upload form.