Wikileaks video "crypto".

David Shaw dshaw at
Fri Apr 9 15:33:39 EDT 2010

On Apr 9, 2010, at 3:06 PM, Perry E. Metzger wrote:

> Earlier this weeks, Wikileaks released of video of an incident involving
> an Apache helicopter which killed two Reuters reporters and a number of
> bystanders in Iraq.
> A number of the reports surrounding the release claim that the video was
> "decrypted" by Wikileaks. Indeed, Wikileaks requested "supercomputer
> time" via twitter and other means to "decrypt" a video, see:
> The video was apparently intentionally given to Wikileaks, so one can't
> imagine that the releasing parties would have wanted it to be unreadable
> by them (or that any reasonable modern cryptosystem would have be
> crackable). What, then, does the "decryption" claim mean here. Does
> anyone know?

According to an interview with Julian Assange (one of the Wikileaks founders) at , the decryption was essentially passphrase guessing.   From Google Translate: "He and a team of cryptographers had then worked for about three months out.  The aim was to find among a few million of the most likely the correct passwords."

See also around the 1:22 mark.

For what it's worth, the original encrypted file (encrypted with OpenSSL's 'enc' tool it seems) is claimed to be at  They do not provide the passphrase that managed to decrypt it.


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