Some of the known tools developed by Julian Assange

By Jason McNicholas
Cyber Security Apprentice

With the news of Julian Assange being arrested in the Ecuadorian Embassy, people may be wondering why he is charged with hacking by the United States government as many people only see Assange as a journalist and not a hacker.

The centre of the hacking allegation stems from the theory that Julian Assange helped Chelsea Manning (Formally an Intelligence Analyst for the United States Army in Iraq) crack a password on United States Department of Defence Computers to access classified information with the aim to publish it on WikiLeaks.

Julian Assange has also created open source tools that can still be downloaded today. The most well-known tools are; Surfraw (A UNIX command line interface to popular search engines), PostgreSQL (A relational database system); Rubberhose (A tool for guarding against torture to gain encryption keys) and Strobe (An early TCP port scanner).

Jullian Assange has been thought of as a hacker by some as early as 1987 when he formed a “hacking” group known as “the International Subversives” and has been charged and found guilty of 25 charges related to hacking in the 1990s. He has not been found guilty of any other hacking charges since then.