Well it looks like Anonymous is at it again – this time they were busy making their year end donations to charity in time to claim them on their 2011 income taxes. They even posted images online that appeared to be receipts for these donations. How very altruistic.
The loose-knit hacking movement “Anonymous” claimed to have stolen thousands of credit card numbers and other personal information belonging to clients of U.S.-based security think tank Stratfor. One hacker said the goal was to pilfer funds from individual’s accounts to give away as Christmas donations. Some victims confirmed unauthorized transactions linked to their credit cards.
Anonymous bragged of stealing Stratfor’s confidential client list. The list includes entities ranging from Apple Inc. to the U.S. Air Force to the Miami Police Department. The group claims to have mined more than 4,000 credit card numbers, passwords and home addresses.
According to its YouTube page, the Austin, Texas-based Stratfor provides political, economic and military analysis to help clients reduce risk.
The company’s main website was down, with a banner saying the “site is currently undergoing maintenance.”
Proprietary information about the companies and government agencies that subscribe to Stratfor’s newsletters did not appear to be at any significant risk. The main threat is said to have affected individual employees who had subscribed.
Anonymous posted a taunting message on its Twitter account saying, “Not so private and secret anymore?” They also promised that the attack on Stratfor was just the beginning of a Christmas-inspired assault on a long list of targets. In addition, hours after publishing what it claimed was Stratfor’s client list, Anonymous tweeted a link to encrypted files online with names, phone numbers, emails, addresses, and credit card account details. “Not as many as you expected? Worry not, fellow pirates and robin hoods. These are just the ‘A’s,” read a message posted online that encouraged readers to download a file of the hacked information.
Anonymous said the client list it had already posted was a small slice of the 200 gigabytes worth of information it stole from Stratfor and promised more leaks. It said it was able to get the credit card details in part because Stratfor didn’t bother encrypting them. If this is true, that would be a huge embarrassment for any security-related company – or in my opinion – any company that holds personal information on its clients/customers.
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. Burton said that Stratfor has protections in place meant to prevent such attacks. Still, it seems tough to stay one step ahead of this hacking group.
“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,” Burton said. He is probably right. For this group, it appears that where there is a will, there is a way. No one wants to be on their target list.
As mentioned, Anonymous linked to images online that it suggested were receipts for charitable donations made by the group manipulating the credit card data it stole.
One receipt — to the American Red Cross — had Allen Barr’s name on it. Barr, of Austin, Texas, recently retired from the Texas Department of Banking, said he discovered last Friday that a total of $700 had been spent from his account. Barr, who has spent more than a decade dealing with cybercrime at banks, said five transactions were made in total.
Wishing everyone a “Merry LulzXMas” — a nod to its spin-off hacking group Lulz Security — Anonymous also posted a link on Twitter to a site containing the email, phone number and credit number of a U.S. Homeland Security employee.
Read entire story@ msnbc