When Forbes broke the news yesterday that, according to founder Julian Assange, Wikileaks is preparing to publish a trove of data that would expose an “ecosystem of corruption” at a major U.S. bank, the specific target remained a mystery.
Our own Max Abelson posited yesterday that Bank of America could be the target, and today the theory is gaining some traction. Forbes‘ Andy Greenberg points to a 2009 Computer World interview in which Assange claims to have 5 GB of data from Bank of America:
“At the moment, for example, we are sitting on 5GB from Bank of America, one of the executive’s hard drives,” he said. “Now how do we present that? It’s a difficult problem. We could just dump it all into one giant Zip file, but we know for a fact that has limited impact. To have impact, it needs to be easy for people to dive in and search it and get something out of it.”
We also point to this segment of Greenberg’s Q&A:
Is it a U.S. bank?
Yes, it’s a U.S. bank.
One that still exists?
Yes, a big U.S. bank.
The biggest U.S. bank?
Bank of America is the largest U.S. bank by assets. Plus, the company has been positively hammered in the past couple months, finding itself at the center of an ongoing foreclosure mess that has state attorneys general sniffing around and bond investors clamoring for their money back.
None of this means much of anything yet, since we have to go on Assange’s word that he’ll publish any damning data dump on any bank at all, and the evidence that BofA is in Wikileaks’ crosshairs is far from conclusive.
mtaylor [at] observer.com | @mbrookstaylor