AKO users warned following Stratfor website hack
By ERIK SLAVIN | STARS AND STRIPES Published: January 3, 2012
YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — The U.S. Army’s Web portal for soldiers is asking anyone who registered usernames with open-source intelligence provider Strategic Forecasting, or Stratfor, to watch for identity theft and report any credit card fraud to the Army’s Criminal Investigation Command.
On Friday, hackers affiliated with the group AntiSec published hundreds of thousands of registered email addresses and Stratfor usernames online, along with thousands of credit card numbers.
The lists included information on former U.S. Vice President Dan Quayle, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and former CIA Director Jim Woolsey, according to media reports.
Army Knowledge Online recommended that users monitor their credit card statements and change online passwords, especially if they used their Stratfor password with other accounts, according to a message sent to AKO users early Saturday.
If users find fraudulent activity on their credit cards, AKO recommended contacting one of the three main credit bureaus and submitting a fraud alert. The Web portal also provided information for contacting the appropriate investigator in emails to its users, if they were victimized by credit card fraud.
Last week, an AntiSec post on the website Pastebin.com attributed the attacks to the court-martial of Pfc. Bradley Manning, who was arrested last year on suspicion of transferring a trove of classified information to the WikiLeaks website.
“We call upon all allied battleships, all armies from darkness, to use and abuse these password lists and credit card information to wreak unholy havoc (sic) upon the systems and personal e-mail accounts of these rich and powerful oppressors. Kill, kitties, kill and burn them down... peacefully. XD XD,” the AntiSec statement said.
Some media reports have also attributed the hacking to the loosely knit Anonymous hacking group, but a statement purportedly from the group posted on Pastebin on Dec. 25 disavowed the Stratfor attack.
Founded in 1996, Stratfor publishes “strategic intelligence on global business, economic, security and geopolitical affairs,” according to prior statements on the company’s website, which is currently shut down. It offers free reports to anyone who signs up, and premium content for a fee.
Stratfor is performing a security review and will begin publishing again at its conclusion, according to a company statement. Stratfor is providing 12 months of identity theft coverage to all of its paid customers, according to the statement.