Merry Christmas, Stratfor
Hackers hand intel outfit own head on plate
While L-tryptophanics were tucking in on Christmas day, private intelligence group Stratfor Global Intelligence was watching its reputation dissipate after online attackers copied e-mails and client lists.
On Christmas Eve, the attackers announced that they had broken into Stratfor’s systems and obtained access to 200 GB of e-mails.
They then extracted information, including Stratfor’s customer and donor lists along with credit card data on Pastebin.
Clients identified in the list include Goldman Sachs, derivatives trader MF Global, Apple, and the US Air Force.
The successful attack has been confirmed by Stratfor founder George Friedman in a letter reproduced at Zero Hedge.
While the Zero Hedge post captures IRC announcements made during the attack that link the break-in to Anonymous, the collective has posted a statement to Pastebin denying responsibility.
The statement attributes the attack to “Sabu”, stating that “Sabu and his crew are nothing more than opportunistic attention whores who are possibly agent provocateurs. As a media source, Stratfor's work is protected by the freedom of press, a principle which Anonymous values greatly.” ®
Actually, a bit more information about who Stratfor is and what do they do would not have gone amiss. Yes, some here are more informed then others - but that is no reason to just assume everybody who reads a particular article is already heavily into whatever information niche the article is about. Different readers have different favourite subjects - and it helps to provide some basic background information for completeness sake.
That isn't right either
The term Hacker far predates linus' ego. Hacker was originally used to denote people that had high levels of knowledge about computer systems, no matter the OS. The term became popular on the original DARPA-net a good 20-30 years before linux was even a thought.
@xj25vm - who dey?
Stratfor are a news analysis and interpretation organisation with a reputation for apolitical, reasonably objective and unbiased assessment; their primary aim is to provide STRATegic FORecasting for corporate and other clients.
Most of their information comes, as they themselves clearly say, from freely available public sources - the 'added value' is the interpretation, provided by a team which includes various specialists and ex-intelligence agency analysts. And of course, it means that subscribers don't (for example) have to trawl the Arabic or Asian press for local views, official or otherwise. They are regularly cited by fairly serious news outlets like the NYT, the Economist, CNNi and such.
Nevertheless, I suspect that the vast majority of those whose details have been lifted - of whom I am one - are individuals who appreciate their assessment of world affairs, rather than governments or spooks.
Thanks to Anonymous, I'm out of pocket on this - having had to cancel and re-order a credit card, despite its not having been used for unauthorised transactions - and have had a lot of extra hassle while away from home over Christmas. Ho ho bloody ho.