Feeds

Assange traveled in drag to evade gov spooks

'Can't imagine how ridiculous it was'

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

Julian Assange's wariness of government spooks ran so high that the WikiLeaks founder resorted to disguising himself as a woman when traveling, according to a profile published Monday by The Guardian.

As Assange's entourage moved from London to the village of Ellingham, the battered red car they rode in periodically pulled off the road with lights killed to make sure it wasn't being followed.

“You can't imagine how ridiculous it was,” James Ball, a one-time volunteer for WikiLeaks, said of the 6-foot-2-inch Assange. “He'd stayed dressed up as an old woman for more than two hours.”

The 2,700-word feature travels a fair amount of ground that by now is familiar to many. As a child growing up in Australia, the nomadic Assange attended no fewer than 37 schools, was estranged from his birth father, and as a teen took an early liking to a Commodore 64, which opened up the world of hacking. In 1991, Assange and two hacking acquaintances targeted the US military's MILNET. Assange would later claim he had total control over the network for more than two years, thanks to a backdoor he found.

He eventually pleaded guilty to 24 counts of hacking. Prosecutors said Assange's motive was “simply an arrogance and a desire to show off his computer skills.”

The profile said Assange's biological father, one John Shipton, was largely missing from his son's life until age 25.

“Later they met, with Julian discovering he had inherited his architect father's highly logical and dispassionate intellect,” The Guardian said. “One friend said Shipton was 'like a mirror shining back at Julian.'”

When Assange registered the wikileaks.org domain name in 2006, he did so under Shipton's name. ®

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

More from The Register

next story
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
Four fake Google haxbots hit YOUR WEBSITE every day
Goog the perfect ruse to slip into SEO orfice
Putin: Crack Tor for me and I'll make you a MILLIONAIRE
Russian Interior Ministry offers big pile o' roubles for busting pro-privacy browser
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.