Stratfor Hacked For Christmas

Weak LinkAlright Bruce, I saw your email.  I just wasn’t sure that the dust had settled, and that there wasn’t more to this than originally reported.  I’m still expecting more fallout as we slip into 2012.

The hacking group “Anonymous” gave US global intelligence firm Stratfor a lump of coal for Christmas by penetrating the company’s network and stealing thousands of emails and credit card details.  The hackers claim to have stolen 200 gigabytes of private emails, and the credit card details of more than 90,000 clients of Strategic Forecasting, Inc., (Stratfor) an Austin, Texas-based research firm that advises top companies and government agencies on security, economic, business and political affairs.  The stated goal of the exercise is to raid the stolen accounts and donate $1 million to charity.

On Christmas eve, after announcing the “LulzXmas” breach on Twitter, Anonymous posted what it claims is a list of about 4,000 Stratfor clients, including AIG, Bank of America, Boeing, Chevron, Deutsche Bank, General Electric, Goldman Sachs, Google, HSBC, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Sony, TD Bank, United Nations, Western Union, Wells Fargo, World Bank, US Army, US Navy, US Air Force, US Marines, and several embassies and universities.

In a Pastebin post; “Greetings Global Pirates.  We truly hope that you’ve been enjoying the Lulzxmas festivities so far. The gifts that AnonSanta left under the LulzXmas tree are just the beginning. As we speak, his little helpers at the North Pole are readying his battle sleigh of lulz with more goodies to bring you LulzXmas joy all week long. Joy in the form of over $500,000 being expropriated from the bigshot clients of Stratfor. You didn’t think we’d let 2011 end without a BANG, did you?”

Anonymous says that it instigated the hack to shine a light on just how poorly major corporations with high-profile clients deal with basic security issues.  Anonymous said Stratfor did not securely encrypt its clients’ customer payment information in its database.  Stratfor was apparently targeted more for its ties with major companies in the government and intelligence sectors that Anonymous sees as enemies of transparency than its bankroll.

In another post, “The e-mails obtained before Christmas Day will vastly improve our ability to continue that investigation and thereby bring to light other instances of corruption, crime, and deception on the part of certain powerful actors based in the U.S. and elsewhere.”

Once again, Anonymous atempts to do the world justice by once again breaking the law.  These are some smart people.  If they put more effort into identifying and fixing the flaws that permeate the internet rather than ego stroking and doing harm, those of us with bank accounts that are paying our mortgages and just squeaking by in life might be able to sleep a little better at night.