The gargantuan new release, which WikiLeaks has titled the Syria Files, was announced in an event at the London Press Club Thursday morning by Sarah Harrison, a WikiLeaks staffer and sometimes-assistant to the group’s founder Julian Assange, who remains hidden in London’s Ecuadorean embassy seeking asylum to avoid extradition to Sweden to face questioning for alleged sex crimes.
WikiLeaks describes the data dump as having come from 680 different domain names and 678,000 individual email addresses, with more than a million recipients. Given that broad sweep, it’s difficult to imagine what sort of insider or external hacker might even have access to so many institutions: The most likely explanation may be a leak or outside data breach at one or several of Syria’s Internet service providers. As usual, WikiLeaks has kept its source anonymous.
In fact, the Syria Files may be so large and varied that even WikiLeaks has little idea what it has on its hands. For now, only a few dozen of the files, dated from 2006 to the present, have been publicly released and analyzed by WikiLeaks’ media partners, the Associated Press and a collection of small newspapers.