Anonymous trolls everyone with encryption keys to “warhead”

The supposed encryption keys to a "warhead" full of dangerous documents reveal messages including "You're a dumb b*itch." Are the documents dangerous, or just a prank?


Curt Hopkins

Internet Culture

Published Jan 29, 2013   Updated Jun 2, 2021, 2:31 am CDT

A list of alleged encryption keys to the “warhead” files in Operation Last Resort has shown up around the Internet today. Last Resort is a campaign allegedly launched by the hacking collective Anonymous designed to take revenge for last year’s prosecution of some of their members, push back against harsh sentences for online crimes, and honor Aaron Swartz, the noted hacker and activist who killed himself earlier this month.

However, there is some indication that not only are the keys false, but the “warheads” themselves—files that allegedly contain information dangerous to the U.S. Department of Justice, various Supreme Court justices, and others—may be junk. After all, the first “detonation” of these files was already proven to be a fraud, an old file junked for parts and presented as a new release of Witness Protection participant data.

Now, a reader has sent the Daily Dot a link to an attempted decryption of the files, as hosted on popular file-sharing site The Pirate Bay.

“The last two posts are from the user ‘zingelll,’” the reader explained, “and it shows his methodologies in attempting to decode the warheads.  He’s going through various decryption methods, one of which tells him that the data doesn’t even look to be encrypted.”

If that is the case, these “warheads” may turn out to have more in common with Shepperton studios decoy munitions than with Fat Man and Little Boy.

“His final method,” the reader continued, “is to take the ‘keys’ supposedly provided by Anonymous and put them through a base64 decoder and the result is a few lines of l33t speak (the lines following the “for” statement quoted below).  So it appears that the warhead files may just be noise and the keys provided are an advertisement for some hack group.”

This decoding produced translated keys that included:





“Nice joke,” zingelll concluded.

At the very least, this new set of keys seems to be no more valid than this weekend’s alleged release of U.S. Marshal Service data.

“Anonymous says that they have not released the keys yet,” said our reader, “so it’s likely that the keys everyone is trying to use are fake; they were not distributed with the original files.”

Photo by Raja Singh/Flickr

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*First Published: Jan 29, 2013, 4:28 pm CST