K.S. Rajan (10 Jan 2012)
"'Anonymous' Hackers Target U.S. Security Think Tank"


[I apologize for the delay I am forwarding this]

"Stratfor, based in Austin, Texas, provides political, economic and military analysis to help clients reduce risk, according to a description on its YouTube page."

From Dec, 27th WSJ, FYI,
David

DECEMBER 27, 2011
'Anonymous' Hackers Target U.S. Security Think Tank
Associated Press
LONDON —The loose-knit computer-hacking group known as "Anonymous" claimed Sunday 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 individuals' accounts to give away as Christmas donations, and some victims confirmed unauthorized transactions linked to their credit cards.
Anonymous boasted of stealing Stratfor's confidential client list, which includes entities ranging from Apple Inc. to the U.S. Air Force to the Miami Police Department, and mining it for more than 4,000 credit card numbers, passwords and home addresses.
Stratfor, based in Austin, Texas, provides political, economic and military analysis to help clients reduce risk, according to a description on its YouTube page. 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, however, with the main threat posed to individual employees who had subscribed.
Stratfor said in an email to members, signed by Stratfor Chief Executive George Friedman and passed on to AP by subscribers, that it had hired a "leading identity theft protection and monitoring service" on behalf of the Stratfor members affected by the attack. The company said it will send another email on services for affected members by Wednesday. The company told subscribers it had suspended its servers and email after learning that its website had been hacked.
Stratfor acknowledged that an "unauthorized party" had revealed personal information and credit card data of some of its members.
"Not so private and secret anymore?" Anonymous taunted in a message on Twitter, promising that the attack on Stratfor was just the beginning of a Christmas-inspired assault on a long list of targets.
Anonymous said the client list it had already posted was a small slice of the 200 gigabytes worth of plunder 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 — an easy-to-avoid blunder which, if true, would be a major embarrassment for any security-related company.
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. Stratfor has protections in place meant to prevent such attacks, he said. "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," Mr. Burton said.
Allen 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. Mr. Barr, who has spent more than a decade dealing with cybercrime at banks, said five transactions were made in total.
"It was all charities, the Red Cross, Care, Save the Children. So when the credit card company called my wife she wasn't sure whether I was just donating," said Mr. Barr.
But the breach doesn't necessarily pose a risk to owners of the credit cards. A card user who suspects fraudulent activity on his or her card can contact the credit card company to dispute the charge.