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The wanted-dead-or-alive posters described him as a "rat bastard." Then there was the spitting and name-calling, things like Snitch! and A**hole! Not to mention the death threats -- none credible enough to warrant Kevlar, but still, Adrian Lamo had good reason to check up on the security arrangements before setting foot in the Hackers On Planet Earth conference in Manhattan last weekend.
The 29-year-old Lamo was once a star of the hacker community, having broken into computer systems at The New York Times, WorldCom and Microsoft (and earned two years' probation in the bargain). But that all changed in May, when he snitched on a fellow hacker, Pfc. Bradley Manning, who allegedly leaked classified material to the website WikiLeaks -- most notably a video showing a U.S. helicopter strike on civilians and reporters in Baghdad.
He said he wished Manning had never contacted him, and that he believed that the classified information Manning wanted to leak would have led to a greater loss of life. But he still supported WikiLeaks, an assertion that prompted many a cry of "Bullsh*t!" in the audience.
(02:46:25 PM) Lamo: I’d be one paranoid boy in your shoes.
(02:47:07 PM) Manning: the CM video came from a server in our domain! and not a single person noticed
(02:47:21 PM) Lamo: CM?
(02:48:17 PM) Manning: Apache Weapons Team video of 12 JUL 07 airstrike on Reuters Journos… some sketchy but fairly normal street-folk… and civilians
(02:48:52 PM) Lamo: How long between the leak and the publication?
(02:49:18 PM) Manning: some time in february
(02:49:25 PM) Manning: it was uploaded
(02:50:04 PM) Lamo: uploaded where? how would i transmit something if i had similarly damning data
(02:51:49 PM) Manning: uhm… preferably openssl the file with aes-256… then use sftp at prearranged drop ip addresses
(02:52:08 PM) Manning: keeping the key separate… and uploading via a different means
(02:52:31 PM) Lamo: so i myself would be SOL w/o a way to prearrange