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WikiLeaks published confidential documents from the Swiss bank Julius Baer and the Kaupthing Bank in Iceland. The site also published an operation manual for the U.S. prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

WikiLeaks’ most recent leaks exposed frank and sometimes embarrassing communications from diplomats and world leaders. They included inflammatory assessments of their counterparts and international hot spots such as Iran and North Korea.

The prime suspect in the diplomatic leaks, Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, is being held in a maximum-security military brig at Quantico, Va., charged in connection with an earlier WikiLeaks release: video of a 2007 U.S. Apache helicopter attack in Baghdad that killed a Reuters news photographer and his driver.

Military investigators say Manning is a person of interest in the leak of nearly 77,000 Afghan war records WikiLeaks published online in July. Though Manning has not been charged in the latest release of internal U.S. government documents, WikiLeaks has hailed him as a hero.

Manning boasted to a hacker confidant that security was so flimsy he was able to bring a homemade music CD into work, delete its contents and fill it with secrets, according to a log of the exchange posted by Wired.com.

Experts said a key flaw in the military’s security was that Manning may not have even had to look all that hard for the data, as it was apparently available for many people to see. The Defense Department says it has bolstered its computer security since the leaks.

Companies have many options technologically to protect themselves.

Alfred Huger, vice president of engineering for security firm Immunet Corp. in Palo Alto, said companies could simply configure their e-mail servers to restrict who certain people can send documents to.

Other measures include prohibiting certain people from copying and pasting from documents, blocking downloads to thumb drives and CD-ROMs, and deploying technologies that check if executives’ e-mail messages are being checked too often _ a sign that an automated program is copying the contents.

But the more companies control information, the more difficult it is for employees to access documents they are authorized to view. That lowers productivity and increases costs in the form of the additional help from technicians.

“You run the risk of creating an environment that’s so rigid that people can’t do their jobs,” Huger said. “You have to find that balance. Unfortunately, there’s no panacea against it.”