American Security Think-Tank Hacked By Anonymous
December 26, 2011

American Security Think-Tank Hacked By Anonymous

The hacking collective known as Anonymous is claiming to have stolen thousands of credit card numbers, email addresses, and other private information belonging to clients of an American security think-tank, various media outlets reported Sunday.

According to CNET's Natalie Weinstein, approximately 200GB worth of data was pilfered from Austin, Texas-based Strategic Forecasting, Inc. (Stratfor). The group then posted a link to what is believed to be a list of confidential clients compromised during the cyberattack.

As many as 4,000 card numbers, passwords, and home addresses were accessed on the firm's confidential client list, which reportedly includes Apple, the US Army and Air Force, MSNBC, and the Miami Police Department, the Telegraph and Washington Post have reported.

Along with the link, Anonymous posted a taunt which read "not so private and secret anymore?" on their Twitter account, AnonymousIRC.

Weinstein added that additional microblogging posts from the organization suggest that they will be attempting to attack other targets during the upcoming week, and said that "if Stratfor would give a (expletive) about their subscriber info they wouldn't store CC/CCV numbers in cleartext, with corresponding addresses."

Stratfor's homepage was offline as of 4pm Eastern Sunday afternoon.

The company officials acknowledged the hacking attempt in an email sent to members. That email, which was obtained by the Associated Press (AP), said, "We have reason to believe that the names of our corporate subscribers have been posted on other web sites“¦ We are diligently investigating the extent to which subscriber information may have been obtained."

In an emailed statement, Air Force Public Affairs Officer Lt Col John Dorrian told the Telegraph that they would not discuss specific threats or vulnerabilities, and added that the armed forces branch would "continue to monitor the situation and, as always, take appropriate action as necessary to protect Air Force networks and information."

A Miami police department spokesman told the Washington Post that he could not confirm or deny that they were a client of Stratfor's, and added that he was not aware of any security breach involving the city law enforcement group.

According to the Telegraph, Anonymous also posted images featuring receipts of donations made to various charities, suggesting that the group has been "manipulating the credit card data it stole“¦ one image that appeared to show a transaction summary indicating that an agency employee's information was used to donate $250 to a non-profit."

The UK newspaper also reports that one member of the group has posted on Twitter, claiming that the group has accessed over 90,000 credit cards from law enforcement, the media, and the intelligence community. The individuals specified Fox News as a target, and said their information and the data of groups like them had been hacked and would be used to "steal a million dollars" to donate for charity.


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