Wikileaks secret donor list leaks onto Wikileaks

Filed Under: Data loss

Whistle-blowing website Wikileaks has not been far from the headlines in the last few years.

With its interest in publishing anonymously submitted leaked documents such as details of Sarah Palin's hacked Yahoo email account, membership list of the British National Party and secret works related to Scientology it has assured itself as a controversial outpost on the internet.

The latest document posted on Wikileaks, however, does not involve failed election running-mates, controversial right wing political parties, or controversial religious cults. Instead, Wikileaks itself has found itself exposed as guilty of an all-too-easy mistake when sending an email.

A careless blunder by an individual sending an email to potential donors to Wikileaks exposed 58 recipients email addresses by putting them in the CC: field rather than BCC:

Wikileaks donor list

True to its roots, Wikileaks has itself published the email containing all the addresses on its website after it was anonymously submitted - presumably to test the site's declared aim of complete impartiality. I have blurred out the email addresses above, but Wikileaks has posted them in full.

Of course, Wikileaks is far from the first organisation to make this kind of screw-up, and we've discussed before how 70% of businesses are concerned about data leaking out via email. This is just one of the easiest ways in which data about your customers or partners can leak from your company, and potentially open them up to embarrassment or spam.

Ironically, the Wikileaks page making available the document also asks for donations for the Wikileaks project.

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About the author

Graham Cluley is an award-winning security blogger, and veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and gives computer security presentations. Send Graham an email, subscribe to his updates on Facebook, follow him on Twitter and App.net, and circle him on Google Plus for regular updates.