WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange conspired with hackers affiliated with the “Anonymous” and “LulzSec” groups, which have been linked to numerous cyber attacks around the world, according to new indictment by the U.S. Justice Department.
Assange, who’s detained in the U.K. on a U.S. extradition request, gave the leader of LulzSec a list of targets to hack in 2012 and told this person that the most influential release of hacked materials would be from the Central Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency or the New York Times, according to a statement Wednesday from the Justice Department.
The LulzSec leader was cooperating with the Federal Bureau of Investigation at the time, according to the statement.
An Anonymous and LulzSec-affiliated hacker stole emails through a data breach of an American intelligence consulting company that were published in WikiLeaks, according to the statement. Assange indirectly asked that hacker to spam that company again, the U.S. said.
The indictment released Wednesday doesn’t add new charges against Assange but broadens the conspiracy allegations against him, according to the Justice Department. The indictment continues to allege that Assange conspired with Army Intelligence Analyst Chelsea Manning to crack a password hash to a classified U.S. Department of Defense computer, the U.S. said.
The U.S. has charged Assange with endangering national security by conspiring to obtain and disclose classified information. He’s accused of working with Manning to get classified documents from databases containing about 90,000 Afghanistan war-related activity reports, 400,000 Iraq war-related reports and 250,000 State Department cables.
The docket in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, doesn’t list a lawyer representing Assange in the criminal case. The U.K. firm representing Assange in the extradition proceeding didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment on the new indictment sent outside regular business hours.
The case is U.S. v. Assange, 18-cr-00111, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia (Alexandria).
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