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Hack Exposes 50,000 Credit Cards And 44,000 Passwords

Sites include . Published on January 7th, 2012. Written by Anthony West.

Online hacking and the fight to stem its growth sometimes doesn’t come off without a hitch; at least this is what online security and monitoring company, Stratfor is finding out.

The company was recently victim of a hacking attack by popular hacking group Anonymous—an attack which when first reported was grossly underestimated. Initially, it was thought that there was no major security breach and most of the data stolen or exposed was insignificant. But how wrong was Stratfor? And what’s worse, it wasn’t even the so-called guardian of ‘internet security’ that discovered the extent of the damage.

Credit for that goes to New York based online identity protection firm, Identity Finder. After Stratfor gave the all-clear, Identity Finder decided to analyse the data, and what they found was staggering. According to their data analysis, a whopping 50,000 credit cards, and 44,000 passwords were compromised in the attack. Also compromised were a reported 86,594 email addresses, of which 47,680 are unique; 27,537 phone numbers, of which 25,680 are unique, and a bevy of other sensitive data.

The examination carried out by Identity Finder revealed Stratfor had very weak verification and validation protection systems in place. This coupled with a general culture of encrypting passwords, contributed in large part to the effects of the attack.

Anonymous of course will always disagree since it believes that the superior hacking skills of its members are robust enough to crack any security setup. That may or not be the case and I for one am in no hurry to prove or disprove it.

Do you think Anonymous are the most lethal hackling team on the planet? Let us know below.

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2 Responses »

  1. For the last 15+ years security minded people have known what the worst that can be done is. The list of bad things grows as more things are connected to the Internet and to each other. From small to global sized corporations business managers are not paying attention. They never have and they never will. Security costs money and causes inconvenience. There are relatively few who pay attention and when they are not paid well enough they don’t. Data systems will remain insecure until that changes dramatically. That is the problem in a nutshell and it won’t go away on its own.

    Anonymous? Are you kidding? Nobody knows who anonymous is. Calling them the best hackers on the planet or anything similar is like hiding your head in the sand with regard to security issues. Damn! If current terrorist groups were not so inept and to be honest, downright ignorant, they would be showing you where your security problems are. The real black hats pay their rent with government paychecks. Remember the Stuxnet virus? There have been others too. There are viruses out there now spying on your data in stealth mode. MS is doing nothing to stop them and in fact has colluded with government on several occasions that we know of. AT&T has also colluded with big brother. Anonymous is nothing because you cannot know who they are. They are a wild card. It is unlikely that anonymous has resources for sustained spying and the social hacks to get inside. Their payoff is in creating change. Real hackers get a payoff with your data.

    Imagine a botnet getting 50000 bank accounts compromised. It waits for a certain day and transfers 2 billion dollars through those accounts to some thousands of other small accounts. On Friday all is good, but come Monday there is 2 billion dollars gone. Now imagine those accounts were all wall street worker’s accounts, or autoworkers accounts, or… well you can see what I’m driving at. With security vulnerabilities the worst thing you can do is think that you know the worst thing that can happen. On the internet your business and its data are an island and every enemy has a huge naval arsenal. Safety is illusion.

  2. The fact is that more and more people are backing anonymous hackers. Maybe not out loud, but they see that these huge companiesare ignorant of the masses. That they are better than you and me. They have bougjt the goverenment and with control of our money, we are powerless. So when some hackers steal from them, there doesnt seem to be a huge outcry for arrests. Even the news will run the story once then drop it.
    We need change. And in this world run by technology, groups like anonymous are needed to raise awareness.

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