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Full Version: How to Plug a Leak (Old Trick)
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I don't think I'm breaking any vows by sharing an old trick that often works at revealing the source of a leak (Full Disclosure: Ex Law Enforcement).

Say you wish to distribute a highly confidential letter or document to a small group of people, knowing there's a leak.  Without anyone's knowledge, provide them a hardcopy version (preferable to electronic), but ensure that a very slight modification is made to each copy, such that no two are identical.  This change can be unnoticeable to the naked eye, especially if no one thinks to look for it.

For example, introduce a space before a comma somewhere, change the font size one point down or up on one letter, alter the number of spaces between the heading and the page number, etc.; the possibilities are endless.  For electronic documents or emails that are likely to be "copy and pasted" over, make sure the alteration is something that would get copied over with the text, and distribute using the bcc function so that everything thinks they're getting a batch distribution, when really they're individual emails (NB: set it up so they all go at once, in case the time stamps get checked by a carefull target.

Then, when it leaks or you are approached by a member of the press seeking confirmation or denial, ask for the document and look for the "tell".  You will then have your leak.

Next, you need to make a smart play.  Sure, you can just call the leak in, have your "gotcha" moment in the sun and can his a$$, high-fives all around.  Or... you can keep his identity secret and either 1) Call him in, and give him the "you're working for me now, pal" routine** and "turn him", or 2) Say nothing, and use him as an unwitting conduit for the distribution of misinformation designed to further your own ends.  Feed him "confidential" BS that will cause the opposition to make a foolish move, use up scarce resources chasing their tail, sets them up for a crushing blow, etc.

I have a bias in favour of 2, since 1 puts you in bed with a slimeball whose proved he can't be trusted.  He'll eventually turn on you too.  #2 can be played professionally - occasionally feed him "good intel" so he can establish his continuing credibility with the opposition, at some small cost to your side.  Long term thinking  makes #2 the smart play for sure.

** "You're working for me now" is the polite expression...the actual wording we used was a tad more...explicit.
You are Maximillian Krah and I claim my $5
(06-26-2012, 02:56 PM)ggreg Wrote: [ -> ]You are Maximillian Krah and I claim my $5

Hmmm...no.  I did accurately predict, however, that you would take an interest in this!
This is quite interesting.