Stratfor took to its Facebook page to inform users about the hack
(WEB HOST INDUSTRY REVIEW) — Hacking group Anonymous was in a giving mood over the holiday weekend, using stolen credit card information from security research website Stratfor Global Intelligence Service to make donations to charities like the American Red Cross. In a post on Pastebin, Anonymous spokesman Barrett Brown says the goal of the attack was to obtain the emails on its servers.
On Saturday, hackers claiming to be a part of Anonymous crashed the Stratfor website and infiltrated its client list, emails and credit card information to apparently steal $1 million in donations for charity. According to a report by the New York Times, hackers posted a list online that contains its confidential client list as well as credit card details, passwords and home addresses for about 4,000 clients. Hackers claim to have details on more than 90,000 credit card accounts, and obtained about 3.3 million emails from Stratfor’s servers.
Hackers say they were able to breach the client list, that includes Bank of America, the Defense Department, Doctors Without Borders, the United Nations and Lockheed Martin, because the information was not encrypted.
“This wealth of data includes correspondence with untold thousands of contacts who have spoken to Stratfor’s employees off the record over more than a decade,” Brown says in his Pastebin post. “Many of those contacts work for major corporations within the intelligence and military contracting sectors, government agencies, and other institutions for which Anonymous and associated parties have developed an interest since February of 2011, when another hack against the intelligence contractor/security firm HBGary revealed, among many other things, a widespread conspiracy by the Justice Department, Bank of America, and other parties to attack and discredit Wikileaks and other activist groups.”
On Sunday, Stratfor CEO George Friedman confirmed the hack via an email to subscribers. Friedman says there is reason to believe the names of its corporate subscribers were posted on other web sites as well.
In a post on its Facebook page on Sunday, Stratfor claims the published list of clients was a list of members that had purchased its publications and “does not comprise a list of individuals or entities that have a relationship with Stratfor beyond their purchase of our subscription based publications.”
While it is believed Anonymous was responsible for the attack, another Pastebin post says the hack is “most definitely not the work of Anonymous.”
“Stratfor is an open source intelligence agency, publishing daily reports on data collected from the open internet. Hackers claiming to be Anonymous have distorted this truth in order to further their hidden agenda, and some Anons have taken the bait,” the Pastebin post reads. “The leaked client list represents subscribers to a daily publication which is the primary service of Stratfor. Stratfor analysts are widely considered to be extremely unbiased. Anonymous does not attack media sources.”
While this so-called Anonymous representative claims Anonymous doesn’t hack media sources, the loosely related hacking group LulzSec has hacked Murdoch-owned website The Sun, and also hacked the Fox News politics Twitter account in July.