WikiLeaks is likely to roil the presidential campaign with repeated bombshell dumps of sensitive emails and other embarrassing hacked material — possibly including Hillary Clinton’s own emails — keeping the site at the center of a campaign with global ramifications, according to internet security experts.
Hemanshu Nigam, founder of online security firm SSP Blue, which has advised the White House and major corporations, said WikiLeaks’ capability to mask the sources of leaks will make it an irresistible vessel for those looking to sway the race.
“I do think you’re going to see an uptick in the releases, and part of that is getting more information from people who have an interest in the outcome,” Nigam said. “This isn’t going away. You’ve got to be an idiot if you’re running a political campaign and you’re not assuming that at some point your emails are going to be public.”
On its website, WikiLeaks cryptically called Friday’s release of almost 20,000 DNC emails “part one of our new Hillary Leaks series.”
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has teased the Clinton leaks since last month, including potentially some of the roughly 30,000 emails she deleted from her private server while secretary of state. On July 4, WikiLeaks posted more than 1,000 emails sent by Clinton and her aides referencing the Iraq War ahead of the release of a British government inquiry into the war.
WikiLeaks always is eager to stay relevant in the global conversation, and is timing its release of information to that end, Nigam said. He expects similar leaks out of the RNC, as well as around the next president’s State of the Union address and major decisions by his or her Cabinet and diplomats.
For the moment, WikiLeaks appears trained on Clinton. The site blasted the Democratic nominee on its Twitter page yesterday for her “showy rewarding of corruption” by DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who said she would resign amid the controversy. The site called the apparent alliance between Clinton and Wasserman Schultz “an ill wind for the corruption-overton-window of a future presidency.”
A security firm hired by the DNC last month determined hackers linked to the Russian government stole party research on Donald Trump.
However, Nigam said, the site is likely to be used as a tool for any foreign government interested in affecting the outcome of the presidential election.
“I think what you’re going to see now,” he said, “is some of the timing could easily be related to a foreign entity wanting something released, in which case they will give it to WikiLeaks to get it ready to go.”
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