Tech

Stratfor CEO warns customers about fake emails in wake of cyberattack

Josh Peterson Tech Editor

George Friedman, CEO of the private security firm Stratfor, warned subscribers in an email Friday about a fake email from an account “phishing” for sensitive customer data. The email appears to be from Friedman himself.

The warning about the latest assault on Stratfor and its customers comes in the wake of a devastating cyberattack on December 24 in which a faction of the hacktivist collective Anonymous stole 860,000 emails and 76,000 credit card numbers.

“While addressing matters related to the breach of Stratfor’s data systems, the company has been made aware of false and misleading communications that have circulated within recent days,” said Friedman.

“Specifically, there is a fraudulent email that appears to come from George.Friedman[@]Stratfor.com.”

Stratfor VP of Intelligence, Fred Burton, verified the company communication in an online video.

Friedman told customers to only look for official company communications, and “to monitor the Stratfor Facebook page and Twitter feed for company-approved communications.”

Links to information obtained in the December 24 attack, which contained thousands of credit card numbers belonging to .mil and .gov email addresses, were posted on Pastebin, a website that allows users to temporarily post text-only material.

The Stratfor attack is the latest high profile attack by the hacktivists — political activists who use computer hacking as a means to achieve their desired goals — since their efforts to support the Occupy Wall Street movement.

AnonOps, the anti-security faction of Anonymous, claimed credit for the attack on Stratfor. Other parts of the collective, however, say the attack was not endorsed by the whole of Anonymous.

On December 26, @Anon_Central, a Twitter account for one of the several factions within Anonymous, denied involvement with the hack, calling it “a desperate attempt to gain attention by anonops. We don’t hurt the innocent and steal their creditcards. Ever!”

The attack over the holidays was part of “Operation LulzXmas,” a planned week of hacking aimed at international finance, military and government systems.

Stratfor’s website has been down since the December 24 attack while the company works to make repairs to its security systems.

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