NEW: The FBI will investigate latest instances of apparent hacking
An apparently fake e-mail is sent out, purportedly from Stratfor
Stratfor acknowledges the problem on its Facebook page
Stratfor, a global intelligence company, was hacked in December
Hackers appear to have struck Stratfor again.
E-mail allegedly sent out by the global intelligence outfit early Friday told customers that the company “would like to hear from our loyal client base as to our handling of the recent intrusion by those deranged, sexually deviant criminal hacker terrorist masterminds.” The e-mail, which included sexual references, had multiple links.
The Austin, Texas-based company responded with a statement from CEO George Friedman acknowledging “false and misleading communications that have circulated within recent days.”
“This email, and all similar ones, are false and attempt to prey on the privacy concerns of customers and friends,” Friedman said. “We strongly discourage you from opening such attachments. We deeply regret the inconvenience this latest development has created.”
A post on the company’s Facebook page urged people to consult both that site and Stratfor’s Twitter feed “for company-approved communications.”
In December, hackers representing themselves as members of the activist group Anonymous claimed to have dumped online a wealth of personal information about the nearly 1 million people registered on Stratfor’s website. A statement posted on the information-sharing website Pastebin.com said, “We call upon all allied battleships, all armies from darkness, to use and abuse these password lists and credit card information to wreak unholy havok (sic) upon the systems and personal e-mail accounts of these rich and powerful oppressors. Kill, kitties, kill and burn them down.”
The statement was posted by AntiSec, a Web-based collaboration with the activist hacking groups Anonymous and LulzSec.
It said it was revealing 75,000 names and e-mail addresses, credit cards and passwords for Stratfor customers as well as 860,000 user names, e-mail addresses and passwords for those who had just registered.
The Malaysia-based Web development agency Dazzlepod in turn created a site for Stratfor customers to check on whether their e-mail address had been compromised.
The FBI and local police also launched an investigation into the incident, according to Stratfor. A law enforcement official said Friday that the latest incident of apparent hacking will be included in the FBI investigation.
For its part, Anonymous distanced itself from December’s hack, according to a news release posted last month on Pastebin.
“Hackers claiming to be Anonymous have distorted this truth in order to further their hidden agenda, and some Anons have taken the bait,” it said.
Stratfor said last month that it was undertaking a “thorough security review” and had provided its paid subscribers with identity protection coverage from CSID, a provider of global identity protection, for 12 months.
Stratfor provides independent analysis of international affairs and security threats and describes itself as a publisher of geopolitical analysis.
CNN’s Carol Cratty and Alan Silverleib contributed to this report.