31 Dec 2011

Hackers group Anonymous warns of new year’s eve leak

In the latest information breach in retaliation for the prosecution of Bradley Manning, Anonymous releases more data from intelligence analysis firm, Stratfor, and issues a new year’s eve warning.

Hackers group Anonymous warn of New Years Eve leak (getty)

Members of the activist hackers group, Anonymous, calling themselves ‘Antisec’, posted links on the internet to what they said were 75,000 names, addresses, credit card numbers and passwords for Stratfor clients.

Antisec also said that it revealed another 860,000 user names, email addresses and passwords for those registered to Stratfor, using the data-sharing website Pastebin, and that 50,000 of the email addresses end in .mil and .gov, which are used by the US government.

Security think tank, Stratfor, gathers intelligence and provides reports on international security and threats to government and private sector security.

Anonymous hacked into Stratfor’s company data on Christmas Eve, and published what it said was Stratfor’s confidential client which included top security contractors, major technology firms and law enforcement agencies. Reuters news agency reported that the list includes US Vice President Dan Quayle, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and former CIA director Jim Woolsey. Corporations on the list include Bank of America and Goldman Sachs.

The hacker collective also used the stolen credit card details to make donations to charities and posted images of the receipts online.

Antisec said the latest attack is retaliation for the prosecution of US Army private Bradley Manning, who is accused of leaking more than 700,000 US documents to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks.

New year’s eve threat

Antisec is now drip feeding information obtained during the security breach. In an internet statement, the group said it warned of another leak on new year’s eve as well as what it called “noise demonstrations” outside jails and prisons, presumably to show support of convicted hackers: “On this date, we will be launching our contributions to project mayhem by attacking multiple law enforcement targets from coast to coast.”

On this date, we will be launching our contributions to project mayhem by attacking multiple law enforcement targets from coast to coast. Anonymous

A spokesperson said via Twitter that soon to be released emails from the company would show “Stratfor is not the ‘harmless company’ it tries to paint itself as.”

Jeffrey Carr, chief executive of Taia Global Inc and author of the book Inside Cyber Warfare: Mapping the Cyber Underworld, warned that future leaks could contain crucial information. “Those emails are going to be dynamite and may provide a lot of useful information to adversaries of the U.S. government,” he told Reuters. However the Pentagon said it was not threatened by the attack.

Stratfor website down

Anonymous said it was able to access the information partly because Stratfor did not encrypt it – something that could be a major source of embarrassment for the intelligence firm.

The Stratfor website has been offline for almost a week since it came under attack almost a week ago. Since then, the company has been communicating through its Facebook page and sending its analysis to members via email.

In a statement, Stratfor said it “regrets the latest disclosure of information obtained illegally from the company’s data systems,” which included “credit card information of paid subscribers and many email addresses of those who receive Stratfor’s free services”.

Anonymous has launched a series of hacking attacks over the last year against companies that it perceives to be enemies of the anti-secrecy site, WikiLeaks.