A 22-year-old Army Intelligence Analyst was arrested for leaking U.S. combat videos and classified State Department records to Wikileaks.com, a site that publishes leaked government documents and implies government misconduct.
Bradley Manning, of Potomac, Maryland was turned in by ex-hacker Adrian Lamo who contacted the army upon finding out that Manning had leaked a 260,000 embassy cables as well as a headline-making video of a 2007 Baghdad air strike and the 2009 Garani Airstrike in Afghanistan which both claimed the lives of civilians.
Manning contacted Lamo over instant messenger and e-mail shortly after Lamo was featured in an article on Wired.com, and began to exchange confidences with each other. According to Lamo, he lamented over turning Manning in, but felt that having such a wealth of classified information being leaked onto the Internet was a threat to the security of the United States.
“I wouldn’t have done this if lives weren’t in danger,” said Lamo. “He was in a war zone and basically trying to vacuum up as much classified information as he could, and just throwing it up into the air.”
Manning was able to get away with months of searching through classified information due to lax security.
“I would come in with music on a CD-RW labeled with something like ‘Lady Gaga’, erase the music then write a compressed split file,” he wrote.
“[I] listened and lip-synced to Lady Gaga’s ‘Telephone’ while exfiltrating possibly the largest data spillage in American history,” he added. ”Weak servers, weak logging, weak physical security, weak counter-intelligence, inattentive signal analysis… a perfect storm.”