WikiLeaks has postponed the launch of its new secure submission system due to recent security compromises that seriously affected the credibility of the SSL infrastructure.
“Constructing the system is very complex,” the organization said in a public statement. “Due to the deteriorating state of internet security which directly impacts the ability of sources to communicate with journalists and human rights activists securely, WikiLeaks has decided to postpone the launch initially scheduled for Monday.”
The new submission system, which WikiLeaks claims will be substantially more advanced than its previous one, was originally scheduled for release on Monday.
WikiLeaks spokesperson Kristinn Hrafnsson declined to reveal any additional details about the delay or the future of the system until a press conference scheduled for Thursday in London.
There will be more information released then that will also cover the organization’s other plans, Hrafnsson said. WikiLeaks said in its statement that it plans start a new phase and to expose privacy threats to journalists, sources and others.
What’s clear so far is that the organization is not happy with the current state of the Internet’s public key infrastructure. This stems from recent compromises involving multiple Certificate Authorities (CAs), some of which resulted in the issuing of rogue SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificates for high-profile domains.
“Over a year or longer SSL certificates have been penetrated by various organized crime groups and intelligence agencies,” WikiLeaks said. “The entire SSL system, which is the mechanism that guarantees security and anonymity online, has been compromised. SSL is beyond repair,” it added.
The ability to submit documents securely has been suspended on the WikiLeaks website since several key members left the organization last year and allegedly sabotaged the submission system. These included former WikiLeaks spokesperson Daniel Domscheit-Berg and Icelandic historian Herbert Snorrason.
The two went on to create rival whistleblowing website OpenLeaks, which promised increased security for sources and more transparency over its inner-workings. The new platform was supposed to be launched at the beginning of this year, but has yet to do so.