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Anonymous Hacks US Think Tank Stratfor 356

Posted by samzenpus
from the looking-behind-the-curtain dept.
Frankie70 writes "At 11:45 PST on Christmas Eve, hacking collective Anonymous disclosed that not only has it hacked the Stratfor website (since confirmed by Friedman himself), but has also obtained the full client list of over 4000 individuals and corporations, including their credit cards (which supposedly have been used to make $1 million in 'donations'), as well as over 200 GB of email correspondence."
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Anonymous Hacks US Think Tank Stratfor

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 25, 2011 @01:05PM (#38488588)

    What's a Stratfor?

  • by FairAndHateful (2522378) on Sunday December 25, 2011 @01:16PM (#38488660)
    (facepalm) Riffs... They're called riffs... Damnit...
  • by Dexter Herbivore (1322345) on Sunday December 25, 2011 @01:17PM (#38488668) Journal

    What happens the day that someone releases the names? What happens when some poor secretary who's name is on the list gets her details released to netizens without a social conscience. I understand that Stratfor are probably 'evil' from some of their recent actions, but if this activism is attempted then I hope that just a list of names isn't considered sufficient proof by and of itself of wrongdoing.

    All I'm trying to say is that an itchy-trigger finger in obtaining information can lead to problems. I equate it to identifying downloaders by their IP, it's not sufficient proof and may be highly misleading.

  • by Shark (78448) on Sunday December 25, 2011 @01:31PM (#38488752)

    If Stratfor is evil enough to have an angry mob want to punish all the members on that list, I'd still blame Stratfor for endangering the employees that had nothing to do with their evil. It's pretty easy to shove the blame all one way or the other, but really, I think some falls onto each hand. Anonymous should be careful of what they release, the secretary should be careful of who she works for and Stratfor should... well, just not exist.

  • by Hentes (2461350) on Sunday December 25, 2011 @01:38PM (#38488796)

    You don't have to be evil to have an angry mob of trolls want to punish you.

  • Well good to know (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Sunday December 25, 2011 @01:39PM (#38488812)

    I'm glad that you've decided that "an angry mob" qualifies as sufficient proof for any kind of retaliation. If a group of people (or who knows, maybe just one person, not like you know how many were involved) decides someone or something is "evil" that is all the justification needed to do whatever.

    Seriously, what a shitty standard. You blame someone because a mob gets angry at them. Ok, so do you blame abortion doctors who get killed? After all, they have a mob of angry Christians after them, one of them angry enough to resort to killing. Guess they must be as evil as the Christians claim, since the "angry mob" standard is what you use.

    See how bad that is?

  • by Dexter Herbivore (1322345) on Sunday December 25, 2011 @01:44PM (#38488840) Journal
    You shouldn't get me wrong either, I don't believe that corporations should get away with 'evil'. However in life it's not always easy to recognise that you've ended up in the wrong place, and some individuals on this list probably have no idea that some people even consider this organisation evil. Any individuals named on this list shouldn't have their details released unless they are considered public personages (politicians etc), there shouldn't be a carte blanche to release all of the details without some scrutiny or at least some thought about the issues. After examination, maybe all of the names do get released and maybe they don't. Checks and balances which appear to be lacking in groups like anonymous.
  • Re:Go! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by koan (80826) on Sunday December 25, 2011 @01:51PM (#38488868)

    Yet you posted as "anonymous coward" how.... what's the word I want here...

  • by khallow (566160) on Sunday December 25, 2011 @01:57PM (#38488894)
    What happens if I drop mustard gas on them and the mob goes away? Did I just get less evil?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 25, 2011 @02:15PM (#38488992)

    Namely, stop fucking with people who aren't afraid to track you down and kill you over 'lulz'. :)

  • Re:Go! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pla (258480) on Sunday December 25, 2011 @02:15PM (#38489000) Journal
    It's _FULLY_ possible for them you shut _ALL_ of you up, kill _ALL_ of you, if they wanted.

    You realize, of course, that anyone even halfway sane would conduct such attacks from a public WiFi hotspot, right? Track all you want, but somehow I doubt Starbucks has secretly masterminded a global online movement against government and corporate secrecy.


    Want to prove me wrong? Want to prove how "powerful" you really are? Come after me then.

    Why would anyone bother? You count as just another nobody. Anonymous doesn't go after nobodies, it goes after the worst "legal" scum it can find. Governments, banks, now PACs - You wonder why people cheer Anon on? Because they do the "right" thing while the rest of us sit on our asses complaining about the gradual erosion of our privacy and rights.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 25, 2011 @02:19PM (#38489016)

    We are Anonymous. It is not possible to shut us up or kill us all. If you cut a head off, two more will grow back.

    That's quite poetic. However in reality *you* are quite fond of *your* head and will cry, beg, turn over the names of others, share everything you know and will help setup stings to discover others when really bad guys lay their physical hands on you.

    Don't underestimate your enemy. Don't overestimate yourself.

  • by Shark (78448) on Sunday December 25, 2011 @02:32PM (#38489084)

    I don't really blame anyone. I just think the freedom to do what one wishes should be met with the responsibility of considering its implications, on all sides. My point here is that everybody has that responsibility when they exercise their liberty. Anonymous is free to do hacktivism but also have a responsibility to consider the consequences. Stratfor is free to do whatever it is they do but they have a responsibility to evaluate the consequences. And to a smaller extent, the secretary or janitor or whoever is free to accept the job offer but has the responsibility to consider just who they're working for. If I worked for a seal hunting company, I'd definitely consider the risk of getting randomly assaulted by people who get very angry at that sort of thing. If I worked as a soldier, I'd consider the risk of being insulted and blamed for fighting wars I really had no say in going to, etc.

  • by Type44Q (1233630) on Sunday December 25, 2011 @02:32PM (#38489086)
    It tends to help...
  • by Bob9113 (14996) on Sunday December 25, 2011 @03:49PM (#38489516) Homepage

    You blame someone because a mob gets angry at them.

    Not sure about OP, and I completely understand the validity of your post in the context of a response to his or her post.

    An angry mob (or a lone gunman) is, however, a good reason to take a closer look at the situation. Sometimes it is just an angry basement-dweller with a bad attitude, but when someone shouts fire, it is worthwhile to take a look and see if there is a fire (and to hold the shouter accountable as appropriate).

    Ok, so do you blame abortion doctors who get killed?

    Not immediately, but I would certainly want to hear the murderer's motive in the process of prosecuting him or her. Killing someone is a pretty big step for most people and not an action that should be discounted lightly. Just as they may be delusional about being the vessel of God's wrath, it could be that the abortion doctor was performing partial birth abortions on healthy patients with healthy fetuses at full term.

    The point being that just as an angry mob does not mean the target is necessarily guilty, being in an angry mob (or even being a lone gunman) does not mean the torch-wielder is necessarily a misanthropic lunatic.

    The angry mob is a warning signal which is prone to false positives and usually includes some measure of unjustifiable hostility -- but sometimes it is the least costly opportunity we get to observe and correct a substantive problem. Like the "Check Engine" light on your car, sometimes it means the oil change place forgot to reset the mile counter, sometimes it means they left the oil drain plug loose. Ignoring societal warning signs is as dangerous as giving them unlimited credence.

  • Re:Go! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by koan (80826) on Sunday December 25, 2011 @03:49PM (#38489518)

    If what you state is true regarding Stratfor's business, and I believe it is, then that brings up another question, was it really Anonymous that did this or someone else that didn't like "information that is inconvenient for the US government and it's allies" which, along with the charity fiasco, would ramp up the ire of the average Angry Bird player out there and give Carte blanche for the media to obfuscate the information war.

    By the way kudos to George Friedman emailing his clients quickly with (relative) full disclosure, that a bit more character than the usual we see out there (right Commodo?)

  • by Hartree (191324) on Sunday December 25, 2011 @04:18PM (#38489670)

    Ok mods. I usually ignore it, but how is this getting modded down for "troll"?

    Stratfor put out briefs that said pretty much exactly that. Specifically that Anonymous was playing with fire with going against the Mexcian cartels and were not a significant threat to them. Also, they rated the wikileaks cables as causing embarrasment, but not changing the way that diplomacy is done in the world.

    Is there something else? I've seen some speculation, but nobody has really posted anything about what ticked off anonymous. If you know, enlighten us.

  • Re:Go! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by tigersha (151319) on Sunday December 25, 2011 @04:52PM (#38489844) Homepage

    Agree 100%. What did Stratfor do do deserve the epithet "Evil"? Most of the stupid fuck /. hackers just do som knee-jerk support of anonymous. Stealing the credit cards of the customers of a company is not social activism, it is just criminal. anonymous hackers deserve the same treatment as the terrorists in Afpak. Bring on the drones and hellfire missiles.

    The fact that many /. idiots support this crap is blight on /.

  • Re:Go! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DurendalMac (736637) on Sunday December 25, 2011 @04:54PM (#38489854)
    Eh, they didn't really say anything new, but they brought existing exposure further into the limelight. I can at least give them credit for that. People who wouldn't have heard or cared (and might have become victims of that sham in the first place) found out about the dirty dealings of the CoS and stayed away.
  • by flyingsquid (813711) on Sunday December 25, 2011 @05:00PM (#38489882)

    White knighting the corporate world isn't going to get you very far these days. Many of their crimes are known and public opinion is against them.

    You seem to feel that the Anonymous attacks against Stratfor are justified. So I have a question for you. Can you even tell us what exactly Stratfor is and just what it is that they do- without looking it up on Google or Wikipedia?

  • by SteeldrivingJon (842919) on Sunday December 25, 2011 @05:09PM (#38489910) Homepage Journal
    "I understand that Stratfor are probably 'evil' from some of their recent actions" How do you figure? They're mostly an open-source (i.e. public source) intelligence analysis shop, who produce reports about geopolitical issues for customers. Stuff like "what are the odds of Jordan's government being toppled like other Middle Eastern states have been?" It's pretty much like hacking the Economist. Or Jane's. They're not a defense contractor, they're not like some kind of intelligence version of Blackwater. The "Anonymous" people in this case are just idiots.
  • by Raenex (947668) on Sunday December 25, 2011 @05:58PM (#38490154)

    Neither you nor anybody else in the chain of parents or replies identified what, exactly, Stratfor was "evil" for, except for nebulous comments about "corporations". So follow your own advice.

  • Hang on ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dbIII (701233) on Sunday December 25, 2011 @08:36PM (#38490858)
    Isn't a "think tank" just a place to put political workers on retainer between elections with a front of being an academic institution staffed by those that no University would employ?

    Seriously they give far better analysis on issues than 99% of "news" websites.

    That's not very hard due to the lack of deadlines. The appropriate comparison would be books or papers by experts instead.
    The very idea that the same person can be a world class expert on tobacco, nuclear power, coal chemistry, global warming, social security and health insurance should ring alarm bells in the head of everyone with the minimum standard of education.

  • Re:Go! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by godel_56 (1287256) on Monday December 26, 2011 @01:01AM (#38491964)

    Agree 100%. What did Stratfor do do deserve the epithet "Evil"? Most of the stupid fuck /. hackers just do som knee-jerk support of anonymous. Stealing the credit cards of the customers of a company is not social activism, it is just criminal. anonymous hackers deserve the same treatment as the terrorists in Afpak.

    Well, they certainly deserve some degree of opprobrium for keeping credit card details unencrypted on their web-facing systems. My knowledge is fairly low end, but I even knew that was a stupid idea years ago.

    Apparently Stratfor's job is to read the news papers and extract information. Didn't they happen to catch up on the many successful hacking attempts and data breaches in the past year?

    I'm personally happy for Anonymous to keep doing this until the large corporates start to wise up

The universe seems neither benign nor hostile, merely indifferent. -- Sagan

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