Anonymous and related hacktivists have claimed that they provided the 2.5 million emails to WikiLeaks. Anonymous and WikiLeaks have cooperated before.
Just after WikiLeaks began releasing the data from the Syria Files, Anonymous hacktivists claimed responsibility for accessing the information and passing it on to the whistleblower organization.
While WikiLeaks continues to release the sensitive emails on a daily basis, Anonymous has thus far refrained from speaking of the sources of the information.
However in an Anonymous press release they state that in February of this year, hacktivists from Anonymous Syria, AntiSec and the People's Liberation Army apparently worked day and night “to create a breach of multiple domains and dozens of servers inside Syria.”
Their press statement reads:
While the United Nations sat back and theorized on the situation in Syria, Anonymous took action. Assisting bloggers, protesters and activists in avoiding surveillance, disseminating media, interfering with regime communications and networks, monitoring the Syrian internet for disruptions or attempts at surveillance - and waging a relentless information and psychological campaign against Assad and his murderous and genocidal government. When world governments would not send so much as a single bandaid worth of medical supplies to the protesters in Syria, it was a team of six European Anons who donned back-packs and walked almost 400 pounds worth of medical supplies over the border (along with ten pounds of chocolate candy for the children) and into Idib, Syria - risking their very lives to assist our dear freedom seeking brothers and sisters inside Syria. And as long as the tyrant remains defiantly in power, Anonymous will continue to work relentlessly day and night - from every country and every timezone, to assist the courageous freedom fighters and activists in Syria.
We Are Anonymous - We Are Everywhere - We Are Legion - We Never Forget - We Never Forgive
Many of the hactivists taking part in the operation were working from inside Syria, and the operation was part of Anonymous’ anti-Assad Op Syria.
The amount of data is so huge that downloading it took several weeks. Anonymous apparently published some emails from the personal accounts of President Bashar Assad and his English wife, Asma in March this year. However, they passed most of the data on to WikiLeaks, because that organization is “supremely well equipped to handle a disclosure of this magnitude.”
So far, Syria Files releases have discussed how Western media advice to Syria had failed dismally and that a subsidiary of an Italian company, Finmeccanica, had been supplying Syria's police force with communications equipment, despite sanctions.
In later released emails, correspondence shows that Lord Kenilworth, a noted British landscape architect, worked on a new garden at the Assad family residence near the coastal Syrian town of Lattakia. According to the emails, Assad still owed Kenilworth money for the project back in September last year, even though the work is complete.
Another batch of emails shows that Assad gave money to a female aide, who was a doctorate student at the University of Durham.
The releases by WikiLeaks are being made daily in chunks and information will be made known as this happens.
This is not the first time that WikiLeaks and Anonymous have worked together. In December last year, Anonymous hacked five million emails from the private security firm Stratfor. These emails were then passed on to WikiLeaks who published them in February of this year under the release name The Global Intelligence Files.
In the video below, Anonymous announced that it would be hacking and removing the websites of Syrian organizations, in retaliation for the shut down of the Internet in that country and the horrific abuse of the country's citizens. It also shows some of the atrocities committed in Syria (warning graphic images):