Today Wikileaks has begun to release emails from Stratfor Intelligence that had been hacked by Anonymous at Christmas. It an extradinary display of organisation to keep it secret, Anon have teamed up with Wikileaks to make public the communication between Stratfor and its high level coporate clients. Wikileaks sent this tweet on 30nDec as an public acknowledgement that the files where on its servers
The original hack by Anon over the christmas period as part of the LulzXmas operation. Its worth saying that nothing is actually stolen in any of these hacks, merely copied. However credit card details of high ranking staff and subscribers to Stratfor where used on a Robin Hood style spree that saw donation made to a variety of progressive charities using the credit card details. In cases like this the banks refund the card holders and charities get to keep the “donations”.
CNN reports that Stratfor as saying
” that thieves compromised its data systems in December and stole a large number of company e-mails, along with private data about its subscribers, employees and readers.
“Having had our property stolen, we will not be victimized twice by submitting to questioning about them,” the company said about the leaked e-mails.
It said the release was “another attempt to silence and intimidate the company, and one we reject.”
“Stratfor will not be silenced and will continue to publish the geopolitical analysis our friends and subscribers have come to rely upon,” the statement said.
Describing the e-mails as private property, Stratfor said they were written casually, with no expectation anyone outside the communication chain would ever see them.
“They should be read as such,” the company said. “Stratfor understands that this hack and the fallout from it, including the disclosures by Wikileaks, have created serious difficulties for our subscribers, friends and employees.”
Regardless of what Stratfor say this is a serious embarassment. Many of those operating under the banner of Anonymous can no longer be dismissed as nerdy wannabe, and the political/social justice articulation of many will be defining for those on the edges of this networked movement of digital direct action. These hacks are not only direct actions against covert agency’s but also create a political narrative and view on the world that centers war, capital and power as thee main blockages not simply to more egalitarian sharing of digital information, but indeed a more egalitarian society.
Whats interesting is the lack of UK papers involved as media partners following the very public spat between The Guardian and Assange who is awaiting out come of a extradition proceeding to Sweden where he faces serious charges of sexual assault. That there is no Irish media partners is perhaps no surprise to many, yet still poses the question.
You can browse the releases to “reveal the inner workings of a company that fronts as an intelligence publisher, but provides confidential intelligence services to large corporations, such as Bhopal’s Dow Chemical Co., Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and government agencies, including the US Department of Homeland Security, the US Marines and the US Defence Intelligence Agency. The emails show Stratfor’s web of informers, pay-off structure, payment laundering techniques and psychological methods”
You can follow the crowdsourcing research on twitter at #gifiles
Stratfor themselves have dismissed the leaks as meaningless