News / USA

Witness: Soldier in WikiLeaks Case Boasted of Hacking Passwords

Army Pfc. Bradley Manning is escorted into a courthouse at Fort Meade, Maryland, June 4, 2013.Army Pfc. Bradley Manning is escorted into a courthouse at Fort Meade, Maryland, June 4, 2013.
x
Army Pfc. Bradley Manning is escorted into a courthouse at Fort Meade, Maryland, June 4, 2013.
Army Pfc. Bradley Manning is escorted into a courthouse at Fort Meade, Maryland, June 4, 2013.
TEXT SIZE - +
Reuters
— The U.S. soldier accused of passing classified files to the WikiLeaks website boasted of his ability to crack passwords, one of his Army supervisors said at a court-martial on Wednesday.
 
The soldier, Private First Class Bradley Manning, 25, is charged with providing more than 700,000 documents to WikiLeaks, the biggest unauthorized release of classified files in U.S. history, in a case that has raised questions about the limits of secrecy and openness.
 
Manning, then an intelligence analyst, boasted of being able to bypass any Internet portal password, former Army Specialist Jihrleah Showman testified under prosecution questioning.
 
“He said he felt very fluent with computers. He said he spoke their language,” said Showman, who had been one of Manning's supervisors when he worked as an intelligence analyst at a U.S. Army base east of Baghdad in 2010. “He said there wasn't anything he couldn't do on a computer.”
 
Showman said Manning had installed Microsoft's IRC, or Internet Relay Chat, on her computer even though only a civilian contractor was allowed to do so.
 
Under questioning by defense attorney David Coombs, another supervisor, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Kyle Balonek, testified that the application was widely used in Iraq for Army internal communications.
 
Among the 21 charges Manning faces is adding unauthorized software to a computer that was part of the classified SIPR Network to download documents at a rate of a 1,000 an hour and bypassing security mechanisms.
 
Balonek said the base's SIPR Network hard drive included material that had been downloaded from other computers for safety, as well as music, videos and games that soldiers would use during quiet periods.
 
Balonek praised Manning's work in general, saying, “He did put together, I would say, excellent products.”
 
WikiLeaks, an anti-secrecy website, began exposing the U.S. government secrets in 2010, stunning diplomats and U.S. officials. They accused Manning of endangering lives and damaging sensitive diplomacy. Manning has been in confinement since he was arrested in May 2010.
 
In opening arguments of the trial, which began on Monday, prosecutors argued that Manning had been driven by arrogance. But lawyers for Manning portrayed him as naive but well intentioned in wanting to show the U.S. public the reality of war in Afghanistan and Iraq.
 
Manning could be sentenced to life in prison without parole if convicted. The charges include the most serious one of aiding the enemy and prosecution under the Espionage Act of 1917.
 
The trial is expected to run until at least late August.

You May Like

'Exceptionally Lucky' US Boy Survives Flight in Wheel Well

The boy was unconscious for most of the flight, and appeared to be unharmed after enduring the extremely cold temperatures and lack of oxygen More

US Anti-Corruption Law Snags Major Tech Company

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act was signed into law by President Jimmy Carter in December, 1977 More

Cameron Criticized for Calling UK 'Christian Country'

Letter from scientists, academics and writers says the prime minister is fostering division by repeatedly referring to England as a 'Christian country' More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid