A federal grand jury on Wednesday accused WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange of working with hacking groups "Anonymous" and "LulzSec" to obtain and publish sensitive information. File Photo by Neil Hall/EPA-EFE
June 24 (UPI) -- A federal grand jury on Wednesday returned an indictment against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange accusing him of working with hacking groups to target and publish sensitive information.
The second superseding indictment alleges Assange recruited and intentionally worked with hackers from hacking groups "Anonymous" and "LulzSec" to provide WikiLeaks with documents.
In 2012, Assange provided the leader of LulzSec with a list of specific mail, document databases and pdf targets for the group to hack, the indictment alleges, adding that WikiLeaks later published information obtained from a data breach of an American intelligence company by a hacker affiliated with LulzSec and Anonymous who said Assange had indirectly asked him to span the company.
"To obtain information to release on the WikiLeaks website, Assange recruited sources and predicted the success of WikiLeaks in part upon the recruitment of sources to illegally circumvent legal safeguards on information, including classification restrictions and computer and network restrictions," the indictment states.
The Justice Departement said the newest indictment does not add charges to the 18-count indictment against him in May 2019 but does, however, "broaden the scope of the conspiracy surrounding alleged computer intrusions with which Assange was previously charged."
That superseding indictment accused Assange of working with former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to obtain and publicly release hundreds of thousands of pages of classified information, including the names of U.S. operatives.