Stratfor Says Hackers Only Nabbed Credit Card Information


After hackers broke into its website on Dec. 24, Stratfor has partnered with an identity protection service in an effort to give subscribers some measure of comfort. The company will offer its members 12 months of global identity protection for free.

Stratfor, based out of Texas, offers information on geopolitics, terrorism, and industry and country forecasts for businesses and government agencies who subscribe to the site. This information is summarized in a daily newsletter with updates and analysis. Some of their clients include the Department of Defense, Bank of America and Apple.

Their website launch is being delayed due to the hacking incident, as concerns grow over the content of the data the group stole.

Hacker collective Anonymous claimed responsibility for the operation known as “Antisec.” Hackers stole 3.3 million emails from the website as well as assorted credit card information.

Stratfor has issued a statement saying the hacker group exaggerated the extent of information obtained. The company denies that Anonymous was able to successfully uncover a list of private clients.

“Contrary to this assertion the disclosure was merely a list of some of the members that have purchased our 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,” the firm said in an email to its members on Dec. 25.

Stratfor recommended that clients whose information was compromised alert their credit card companies to watch for suspicious activity. So far, Anonymous has leaked credit card data, but threatened to release all stolen documents causing “mayhem.”

We reached out to the Anonymous spokesperson via Twitter who explained that operation Antisec, like most ops, did not have all “anons” behind it. They would not give details about the data stolen or how many hackers were involved. Anonymous frames themselves as a group seeking complete online freedom and demanding transparency with government and business information.

The Stratfor hack was just the latest incident in a year full of security mishaps. Sony’s PlayStation Network was hacked earlier this spring. Also this spring, hacking group LulzSec gained attention for for successfully hacking into parts of websites owned by Sony Pictures, the CIA and the U.S. Senate.

The nature of these attacks underscores the need for robust security audits at firms and corporations of all sizes.

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