David Fisher

David Fisher is a senior reporter for the NZ Herald.

Why the Whaledump hacker came forward

The Whaledump Twitter account.
The Whaledump Twitter account.

The hacker who took years of Whaleoil blogger Cameron Slater's communications has reached out from behind the pages of Dirty Politics and promised further revelations.

The first contact came a week ago, shortly after author Nicky Hager announced he had a new book coming.

It was made through encrypted email and sought a journalist's pledge of source protection.

It wasn't until Sunday night the Herald was able to confirm the person was genuine - they provided details which matched with information gathered from other sources.

And then came the first "dump", as the hacker called it.

Read more:
Slater's messages with former prostitute revealed
Hacker dump: Ex-PM staffer in the spotlight

Four years of Slater's email communications with an ex-prostitute were made available for download from the filesharing site Mega.co.nz.

The hacker community is notorious for its mischievous humour - the choice of Mega was practical as the only cloud storage offering user-based encryption but would also drive theories among some that its founder Kim Dotcom was behind the hacking. Dotcom has denied the claim.

Other in-jokes popped up when the hacker set up the @whaledump Twitter account, from which he said he would release further information.

It called itself "a wholly pnwed subsidary of C&M Ltd" - the "pwned" being hacker-speak for using computer skills to dominate an opponent and C&M Ltd being the title of a chapter in Hager's book, Chaos and Mayhem Ltd.

Further hacker-humour could be found in the encryption key - it resolved to Winston Peters' Parliamentary email address.

The hacker dumped information online.

Then the person emailed the only public comment they intend to make, denying political motivation but a desire to "take down this corrupt network".

"My next batch of leaks will prove this."

- NZ Herald

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