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12 January 2012, 15:49

Stratfor back online after Anonymous attack

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Stratfor logo Strategic Forecasting (Stratfor), a strategic intelligence and analysis publisher, is now back online after hackers operating under the banner of hacker group Anonymous broke into its systems and took around 200 GB of mail and credit card details for subscribers. According to a video statement by Stratfor founder and CEO, George Friedman, the hackers had actually gained access to the systems in early December and Stratfor had been cooperating with the FBI since then; the FBI notified the relevant credit card companies.

The FBI asked the company not to reveal that it had been breached says Friedman, but to wait until the hackers had gone public with the information they had obtained. Over the Christmas period, Anonymous began publishing this information and making donations to various charities using the credit card data they had acquired.

Friedman apologised to his subscribers for storing credit card information without encryption and said that in future Stratfor would be outsourcing that work to a company equipped to handle it securely. In a Christmas Eve attack, Friedman says, four of Stratfor's servers and their backup data were destroyed in what he describes as "an attempt to silence the company". According to an FAQ on the Stratfor web site, no one has been arrested and it is unclear who carried out the attack, but the FBI investigation continues.


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