FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Curious Origins of Political Hacktivism

by JULIAN ASSANGE

Real hacktivism is at least as old as October 1989 when the US Deptartment of Energy and NASA machines world wide were penetrated by the anti-nuclear WANK worm. The worm was the second ever to be unleashed, but its provenance was a curious contrast to its forebear. For you see, worm #1 had been traced to the son of National Security Agency chief cryptographer Robert Morris.

That WANK had a bold political intent was immediate. WANK penetrated machines had their login screens altered to:

W O R M S A G A I N S T N U C L E A R K I L L E R S

_______________________________________________________________
\__ ____________ _____ ________ ____ ____ __
_____/
\ \ \ /\ / / / /\ \ | \ \ | | | | / / /
\ \ \ / \ / / / /__\ \ | |\ \ | | | |/ / /
\ \ \/ /\ \/ / / ______ \ | | \ \| | | |\ \ /
\_\ /__\ /____/ /______\ \____| |__\ | |____| |_\ \_/
\___________________________________________________/
\ /
\ Your System Has Been Officically WANKed /
\_____________________________________________/

You talk of times of peace for all, and then prepare for war.

In our book Underground, Suelette Dreyfus and I trace the source of the worm to Melbourne, Australia. At the time there was considerable cold war fueled anti-nuclear sentiment in the country. Australia had (and still has) a number of US spy, early warning and nuclear submarine communications bases, most of which were first and second strike soviet targets. Australia would not otherwise be a nuclear target, a fact charismatic Soviet foreign minister and Gorbachev confidant Edvard Shevardnadze frequently drew to the attention of the Australian people before finding himself a loved and reviled President of Georgia.

Additionally in 1984, New Zealand, a country with which Australians feel a special affinity, had under Labour pri-minister David Lange, made NZ a nuclear free territory, precluding the admission of nuclear armed or powered warships into NZ ports. The US in response rescinded its defence treaty obligations to NZ, cut intelligence ties (or at least pretended to, see Nicky Hager’s excellent book “Secret Power” for futher details) and instigated a number of trade sanctions against the country.

But New Zealand’s nuclear woes were not to end there. At 11:59 pm on the night of July 10 1985 the Greenpeace flag-ship “Rainbow Warrior”, docked in Auckland harbour preparing to sail in three days time to Mururoa Atoll to demonstrate against French nuclear tests, was bombed by amphibious DGSE (French Secret Service) agents, killing Greenpeace photographer Fernando Pereira. Within days, two DGSE agents Alain Mafart and Dominique Prieur were arrested, following an investigation by Australian journalist Chris Masters, plead guilty to manslaughter and were sentenced by the NZ high court to 10 years. The other DGSE agents escaped via a French Nuclear sub off the NZ coast. The French, a significant NZ trade partner, immediately instigated trade sanctions against the country. In June 1986, a political deal was struck; France would lift sanctions, pay a few million in blood money, and the two agents would be transferred to Hao Atoll, a French military base in the pacific, where they would supposably serve out the remainder of their sentences. However, by May 1988 both had been smuggled back to France.

Examination of the worm source code show specific instructions to avoid infecting machines New Zealand.

Policy always has unpredicted consequences, but it should be remembered that some are blessings!

JULIAN ASSANGE is president of a NGO and Australia’s most infamous former computer hacker. He was convicted of attacks on the US intelligence and publishing a magazine which inspired crimes against the Commonwealth. He is the co-author of Underground and can be reached at http://iq.org/

 

 

Julian Assange is the founder of Wikileaks. His most recent book is The Wikileaks Files (Verso).

More articles by:
May 26, 2016
Paul Craig Roberts
The Looting Stage of Capitalism: Germany’s Assault on the IMF
Pepe Escobar
Hillary Clinton: A Major Gold-Digging Liability
Sam Pizzigati
America’s Cosmic Tax Gap
Ramzy Baroud
Time to End the ‘Hasbara’: Palestinian Media and the Search for a Common Story
José L. Flores
Wall Street’s New Man in Brazil: The Forces Behind Dilma Rousseff’s Impeachment
Patrick Cockburn
The Battle of Fallujah: ISIS Unleashes Its Death Squads
John Feffer
The Coming Drone Blowback
Alex Ray
The Death Toll in Syria: What Do the Numbers Really Say?
Richard Pithouse
We Shall be the Prey and the Vulture
Binoy Kampmark
Trump and the Polls of Loathing
Manuel E. Yepe
A Cruise Ship Without Tourists Arrives in Havana
Jack Rasmus
Greek Debt Negotiations: Will the IMF Exit the Troika?
Ajamu Nangwaya
Pan-Africanism, Feminism and Finding Missing Pan-Africanist Women
Howard Lisnoff
Israel, a Palestinian State and Anti-Semitism
May 25, 2016
Eric Draitser
Obama in Hiroshima: A Case Study in Hypocrisy
Ryan Mallett-Outtrim
Does Venezuela’s Crisis Prove Socialism Doesn’t Work?
Dan Arel
The Socialist Revolution Beyond Sanders and the Democratic Party
Marc Estrin
Cocky-Doody Politics and World Affairs
Sam Husseini
Layers of Islamophobia: Do Liberals Care That Hillary Returned “Muslim Money”?
Susan Babbitt
Invisible in Life, Invisible in Death: How Information Becomes Useless
Mel Gurtov
Hillary’s Cowgirl Diplomacy?
Kathy Kelly
Hammering for Peace
Dick Reavis
The Impeachment of Donald Trump
Wahid Azal
Behind the Politics of a Current Brouhaha in Iran: an Ex-President Ayatollah’s Daughter and the Baha’is
Jesse Jackson
Obama Must Recommit to Eliminating Nuclear Arms
Colin Todhunter
From the Green Revolution to GMOs: Living in the Shadow of Global Agribusiness
Binoy Kampmark
Turkey as Terror: the Role of Ankara in the Brexit Referendum
Dave Lindorff
72-Year-Old Fringe Left Candidate Wins Presidency in Austrian Run-Off Election
May 24, 2016
Sharmini Peries - Michael Hudson
The Financial Invasion of Greece
Jonathan Cook
Religious Zealots Ready for Takeover of Israeli Army
Ted Rall
Why I Am #NeverHillary
Mari Jo Buhle – Paul Buhle
Television Meets History
Robert Hunziker
Troika Heat-Seeking Missile Destroys Greece
Judy Gumbo
May Day Road Trip: 1968 – 2016
Colin Todhunter
Cheerleader for US Aggression, Pushing the World to the Nuclear Brink
Jeremy Brecher
This is What Insurgency Looks Like
Jonathan Latham
Unsafe at Any Dose: Chemical Safety Failures from DDT to Glyphosate to BPA
Binoy Kampmark
Suing Russia: Litigating over MH17
Dave Lindorff
Europe, the US and the Politics of Pissing and Being Pissed
Matt Peppe
Cashing In at the Race Track While Facing Charges of “Abusive” Lending Practices
Gilbert Mercier
If Bernie Sanders Is Real, He Will Run as an Independent
Peter Bohmer
A Year Later! The Struggle for Justice Continues!
Dave Welsh
Police Chief Fired in Victory for the Frisco 500
May 23, 2016
Conn Hallinan
European Union: a House Divided
Paul Buhle
Labor’s Sell-Out and the Sanders Campaign
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail