Feeds

Stratfor settles class-action over Anon megahack with freebies

You want fries with that bucket-o-geopolitical-intel?

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

Stratfor has agreed to forgo $1.75m in income to settle a class action lawsuit arising from a high-profile hack by hacktivist group Anonymous against the global intelligence firm's systems last December.

Anonymous-affiliated hackers broke into Stratfor's systems in the run-up to Christmas last year before publishing hundreds of thousands of email addresses belonging to subscribers along with an estimated 4,000 customer credit records. Various Anons boasted of plans to use the stolen credit card data to make donations to charities, including the Red Cross. Any such transaction would have more than likely been identified and reversed, however.

Stratfor's website was also thrashed during the attack, which allowed hackers to extract confidential internal emails, which soon found their way onto WikiLeaks.

Chief among several mistakes that left Stratfor wide open to attack was a failure to encrypt the credit card files that hacktivists stole and later dumped online. David Sterling of Sterling & Sterling, a New York-area insurance broker and Stratfor subscriber, filed a class-action lawsuit over the breach.

Stratfor has offered to settle the suit by offering each claimant free access to its service for a month, something that would normally cost $29, as well an eBook published by Stratfor called The Blue Book, priced at $12.99. Supplying these goods and services at no charge will leave Stratfor an estimated $1.75m out of pocket, Reuters reports. The private intelligence firm also agreed to pay $400,000 in legal fees.

US District Judge Denis Hurley gave his preliminary stamp of approval to the settlement earlier this month. A final hearing is set for 28 September.

Jeremy Hammond, 27, of Chicago, Illinois, was charged in March with access device fraud and hacking offences in relation to to the Stratfor hack. He is alleged to be the infamous Anonymous figure "Anarchaos".

Hammond's arrest took place with the assistance of LulzSec suspect turned FBI informant, Hector Xavier 'Sabu' Monsegur, officials said. Court documents reveal that Monsegur offered an FBI-supplied server as a repository for 20GB of data extracted from Stratfor, an offer that was accepted. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
Chinese hackers spied on investigators of Flight MH370 - report
Classified data on flight's disappearance pinched
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Researchers camouflage haxxor traps with fake application traffic
Honeypots sweetened to resemble actual workloads, complete with 'secure' logins
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.