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Anonymous Hacks US Think Tank Stratfor 356

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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  • Bizarre target.. (Score:5, Informative)

    by sstamps ( 39313 ) on Sunday December 25, 2011 @01:32PM (#38488754) Homepage

    Most people will go "Stratwho?", shrug their shoulders and go back to eating their turkey sandwiches.

  • by Hartree ( 191324 ) on Sunday December 25, 2011 @01:50PM (#38488864)

    "what "recent actions"?"

    Probably writing papers saying that Julian Assange and Wikileaks weren't going to fundamentally change the world the way that some were billing them.

    They've said similar about Anonymous itself, too.

  • Re:Go! (Score:4, Informative)

    by Animats ( 122034 ) on Sunday December 25, 2011 @03:07PM (#38489242) Homepage

    but the publicity around it left what reputation the church had in ruin. No longer are they just an obscure cult most people have barely heard of - after the Anonymous-ran campaign on social media, everyone knows to avoid them, and they even got the criticisms mentioned on TV news.

    Huh? Scientology has been "exposed" [] many [] times. [] Whatever "anonymous" did was barely noticed.

  • Re:Go! (Score:5, Informative)

    by gmack ( 197796 ) <.ten.erifrenni. .ta. .kcamg.> on Sunday December 25, 2011 @03:14PM (#38489280) Homepage Journal

    What a load of crap. Judging by by your post you have no idea whatsoever who or what Stratfor is.

    Strafror is a private intelligence company that not only reports on the news, they analyze it for possibly outcomes and consequences. I find them far more insightful than regular news sources and what really gets my respect is that they give a quarterly review of any predictions they made and how many of them came true or were completely off base. About the only thing they have to do with the US political system is their tendency to print information that is inconvenient for the US government and it's allies.

      This whole move by Anon will have exactly two consequences:
    1 They shut down an important news source while it is needed the most.
    2 They will screw over a bunch of charities who will now be hit with charge-back fees. I know that the credit card companies issued a "non denial denial" and said that it was up to the individual banks on whether their contracts contain a clause charging the recipient transactions but how many banks will actually not charge the fee? I don't know of any and I work in the CC processing industry. Hint: the bank is never out any money during a fraudulent transaction.

  • Re:Go! (Score:3, Informative)

    by gmack ( 197796 ) <.ten.erifrenni. .ta. .kcamg.> on Sunday December 25, 2011 @03:38PM (#38489442) Homepage Journal

    You think the bank will be out any money for this? The only people who will actually be out of money will be the charities since they are now on the hook for the stolen amount plus the charge-back fees.

  • by poity ( 465672 ) on Sunday December 25, 2011 @03:38PM (#38489444)

    The fact that so few people on /. know about Stratfor and the depth of insight they provide on international matters is disheartening to say the least, though I shouldn't be surprised given the deterioration of comment quality in the years. I encourage everyone on /. to join their free mailing list when they get back online (use a disposable account if you wish)

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

  • Re:Go! (Score:5, Informative)

    by westlake ( 615356 ) on Sunday December 25, 2011 @03:59PM (#38489582)

    No longer are they just an obscure cult most people have barely heard of - after the Anonymous-ran campaign on social media, everyone knows to avoid them.


    Scientology Exposed [] [May 6, 1991]. [cover art]
    The Thriving Cult of Greed and Power [] [full text and illustration]

    The Apostate: Paul Haggis vs. the Church of Scientology [] [Feb 14, 2001]

    Anonymous is the a geek's carnival Wheel of Fortune. Each week it gets another spin. More often if the crowd gets bored.

  • by Hartree ( 191324 ) on Sunday December 25, 2011 @05:36PM (#38490048)

    And, on the same site the hack info was posted, we have a denial that it was anonymous. Of course, since it's anonymous, there is no way to verify it. And, of course, if you have no membership, how can you say that someone isn't a part of anonymous? []

    So, someone says yeah we did it. Someone else says no we didn't it was other people.

    Pass the popcorn.

  • by flyingsquid ( 813711 ) on Sunday December 25, 2011 @06:26PM (#38490282)

    The flip side of that ... is that choosing not to work for Satan means having a lot less to fear from would-be exorcists. Since some of you have severe reading comprehension problems, and love to project your personal interpretation onto whatever you read, I'll spell this out for you: nowhere did I say it's perfectly OK that underlings may catch some of the fallout for decisions made by the higher-ups. What I am saying is that if they were more careful about choosing their employer they wouldn't have these concerns. When you choose to become part of something, you're part of it, for better or worse. The evil organizations of the world never seem to have a problem finding those who will join ranks with them. Ever notice that and wonder if that's the real problem?

    I have a hard time seeing what makes Stratfor "evil". The name "Stratfor" definitely has a kind of evil overlord sound to it, but the reality is that they're a sort of boring organization. "Stratfor" means "Strategic Forecasting", which is a fancy way of saying "news analysis". They aren't doing cloak-and-dagger missions like the CIA, and they aren't doing electronic eavesdropping like the NSA, they are mostly just looking at the news reports and the economic data and trying to figure out what it all means. They try to make sure the government knows what's going on... which is important. A lot of the bad stuff in the world- 9/11 and the War on Terror, the invasion of Iraq- happens because the people in power don't really have an accurate picture what the fuck is going on, and make stupid decisions.

    Hell, look up the bio of Stratfor CEO George Friedman on Wikipedia. So who is this dude? He's not some ex-CIA spook with years of overseas experience. He's got a PhD in government and spent twenty years teaching political science. We're not talking about a stone-cold assassin who trekked through the Central American jungle to assassinate a revolutionary with Marxist tendencies. We are talking about a guy who spent two decades preparing lectures for stoned undergrads, writing books, grading papers, and dutifully showing up for really boring departmental meetings. He probably got tired of academia, had a midlife crisis, and thought intelligence analysis would be more fun. This is not a guy who would strangle you in your sleep with a length of piano wire, although he could probably bore you to death with a discussion of the strategic implications of rising crude oil prices.

    If you want to fight "evil", fine. Good luck with that. But maybe you should first get a clue and spend at least fifteen minutes on Wikipedia reading about what these supposedly "evil" organizations actually do before taking a deeply held political stand. Otherwise your'e just acting out of ignorance... and ignorant people probably do just as much damage in the world as evil people do.

  • Re:Go! (Score:3, Informative)

    by Walkingshark ( 711886 ) on Sunday December 25, 2011 @11:38PM (#38491580) Homepage

    Well, to be honest Stratfor is pretty neocon/right wing and their coverage tends to more often than not somehow support warmongers with their narrative voice.

  • Re:Well good to know (Score:3, Informative)

    by TubeSteak ( 669689 ) on Monday December 26, 2011 @12:41AM (#38491864) Journal

    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?

    Stratfor is part of the nebulous world of private intelligence and analysis.
    They exist to dig up and sell information to companies so that they can have first mover advantage over the rest of us.

    Being part of the military industrial complex is more than enough reason for them to be a target.
    I'm guessing the 200GBs that Anonymous has will end up being like the wikileaks cables -
    not particularly damaging to anyone, but incredibly illuminating to everyone.

  • Re:Go! (Score:4, Informative)

    by gmack ( 197796 ) <.ten.erifrenni. .ta. .kcamg.> on Monday December 26, 2011 @04:16AM (#38492650) Homepage Journal

    Don't mistake their reporting that "x country/organization is doing bad things" with a suggestion that a war on them a good idea. More often than not a war will only make things worse and if the US government had listened to Stratfor's predictions they would not have invaded either Iraq or Afganistan.

"If you lived today as if it were your last, you'd buy up a box of rockets and fire them all off, wouldn't you?" -- Garrison Keillor