- Stratfor has been dubbed the 'Shadow CIA'
- Firm uses sources to create daily intelligence briefings
By LEE MORAN
Last updated at 9:16 AM on 28th December 2011
Hackers who stole thousands of credit card numbers from U.S. security firm Stratfor are now set to release 2.7 million of its confidential emails.
The loose-knit Anonymous movement vowed to heap further embarrassment on the intelligence company, dubbed the 'Shadow CIA', it hacked over Christmas.
It wants to humiliate the firm, which uses a global network of sources to create daily intelligence briefings on security and financial risk, by publishing the communications.
And it said they could provide the 'smoking gun for a number of crimes'.
Stolen: Hacking group 'Anonymous' is set to publish 2.7 million emails sent from Stratfor's global network of sources
Anonymous posted the credit card numbers of 30,000 of its clients - including executives from HSBC and Barclays and a member of the House of Lords - on Monday.
They were then used, it claimed, to donate $1 million to charity.
Activist Barrett Brown told The Times that, if the emails were published, the sources risked exposure.
He said: 'People talking off the record to a think-tank are going to disclose a lot of information. Their identities are likely to be in the emails.
'Both my grandfathers dropped bombs on people. I'm not blowing up any villages. I want to not inconvenience or damage people but, if we do, I'm not terribly worried about it.
'We're in a state of conflict with the Government. Either we are going to jail or we're going to win.'
Promising more: Anonymous criticised Stratfor's security protection, promising that the current breach of their clients' information is only the beginning
He said the emails could 'provide the smoking gun for a number of crimes of extraordinary importance' and revealed Stratfor may have the opportunity to redact some of the communications.
The threat to publish the emails mirrors that of Wikileaks who leaked thousands of unredacted diplomatic cables earlier this year.
'I think the hackers live in this kind of world where once they fixate on you or try to attack you it's extraordinarily difficult to defend against.'
- Fred Burton (Stratfor VP)
A total of 1,195 British credit cards have been leaked.
Anonymous boasted on Monday of stealing Stratfor's confidential client list, which includes entities ranging from Apple Inc to the U.S. Air Force to the Miami Police Department, and mining it for more than 4,000 credit card numbers, passwords and home addresses.
The hackers said Stratfor, based in Austin, Texas and who charges subscribers for its reports and analysis, were 'clueless' when it came to database security.
They taunted on a message on Twitter: 'Not so private and secret anymore?' before promising that the attack was just the beginning of a Christmas-inspired assault on a long list of targets.
Anonymous said the client list it had already posted was a small slice of the 200 gigabytes worth of plunder it stole from Stratfor and promised more leaks.
It said it was able to get the credit card details in part because Stratfor did not bother encrypting them - an easy-to-avoid blunder which, if true, would be a major embarrassment for any security-related company.
Fred Burton, Stratfor's vice president of intelligence, said the company had reported the intrusion to law enforcement and was working with them on the investigation.
And he added that Stratfor has protections in place meant to prevent such attacks.
He said: 'But I think the hackers live in this kind of world where once they fixate on you or try to attack you it's extraordinarily difficult to defend against.'
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2079262/Anonymous-hackers-publish-U-S-security-firms-2-7m-client-emails--providing-smoking-gun-number-crimes.html#ixzz1htsxws00