Wikileaks founder and anti-secrecy campaigner Julian Assange wants to develop new ways to authenticate and seal original confidential or classified documents on the Internet.
Interviewed by Alexandre Lacroix for Die Zeit German newspaper, Assange said his next big project is to develop cryptographic tools to ‘lock up’ online documents so that they can be can be genuinely authenticated.
Man in the middle
He cast doubt on existing digital certificates, claiming that some have already been hacked using the ‘man in the middle (MitM)’ technique of inserting malware between the sender and the recipient.For details of how to prevent MitM attacks see www.csri.info.
“How can you be sure that the document is genuine? And how can you know that it won’t be intercepted and manipulated during its transfer through the internet” asks Assange.
Both questions can be answered with cryptography. In other words:” It is possible to give a document an unbreakable cryptographic key which
guarantees the authenticity of it, ” said Assange. He also complained that the Internet is largely controlled by American companies and by the ICANN organisation which assigns domain names.
Assange is staying at the London Embassy of Ecuador, where he is being offered asylum by the Ecuadorian government. If he leaves, he risks extradition to Sweden where he is accused of sexual assault. He denies it. The United States government also seeks to question him about the wholesale online exposure through WikiLeaks of classified military and diplomatic communications.