Anonymous ‘uncovers’ intelligence officials
LONDON - Agence France-PresseEmail addresses and passwords belonging to British, U.S. and NATO officials were posted online following the hacking of a U.S. intelligence analysis firm over Christmas, the Guardian daily reported Jan. 9.
Online “hacktivist” group Anonymous claimed via Twitter on Christmas Day that it had stolen a trove of emails and credit card information from Stratfor’s member subscribers. According to analysis carried out for the Guardian by John Bumgarner, an expert in cyber-security at the U.S. Cyber Consequences Unit, a research body in Washington, details of senior British intelligence officials and U.S. defense staff were hacked.
In the U.S. case, details of 173 individuals serving in Afghanistan were publicized, along with the personal details of former vice-president Dan Quayle and former secretary of state Henry Kissinger. Some 221 British military officials and 242 NATO staff were also victims along with advisers to Britain’s Joint Intelligence Organization, a body which reports sensitive information to Prime Minister David Cameron, Bumgarner found.
Stratfor, which is based in Texas, specialises in foreign affairs and security issues. The hacked spreadsheets contained email addresses and encrypted passwords of around 850,000 individuals who had subscribed to the consultancy’s website. Last year, the group launched retaliatory attacks on companies perceived to be enemies of the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks.