Our website uses cookies

Cookies enable us to provide the best experience possible and help us understand how visitors use our website. By browsing Infosecurity Magazine, you agree to our use of cookies.

Okay, I understand Learn more

The Stratfor breach exposes the emails of hundreds of military and defense personnel

 

Brown started Project PM with two purposes: Operation MetalGear and Operation Pursuant. The former he describes as “a crowd-sourced investigation into the intelligence contracting industry in general and its role in the development of ‘persona management’ software and various other surveillance and propaganda methodologies in particular.” His interest in the Stratfor breach is therefore self-evident. Brown believes that these emails will expose secret government and defense behavior in leaked tips to Strategic Forecasting, Inc. (Stratfor), a global intelligence organization that provides daily analysis on national and international affairs. 

The initial belief was that Anonymous had effected the breach, but the ‘official’ Anonymous declared in an ‘emergency’ announcement on Christmas Day that it was not behind the Stratfor breach. “Stratfor analysts are widely considered to be extremely unbiased,” it said. “Anonymous does not attack media sources.” 

It had been a power struggle within Anonymous that prompted Brown to cut his ties. Now Anonymous appears to lay the blame on AntiSec, a faction that it describes as ‘opportunistic’ and ‘possibly agent provocateurs.’

The Guardian newspaper has employed John Bumgarner of the US Cyber Consequences Unit to analyze the breach, and found that the email addresses of 221 Ministry of Defence officials and a much larger group of US military personnel (around 19,000 email addresses with the .mil ending) were exposed. Bumgarner stated that “any foreign intelligence service targeting Britain could find these emails useful in identifying individuals connected to sensitive government activities.” Any victims using the same password on multiple accounts could also find their email and other databases exposed.

The Guardian’s security sources, however, said that the UK’s national security would not be compromised since all communication within Whitehall would use a different password to that used for Stratfor. Meanwhile, any military whistleblowers will be hoping that they haven’t been exposed.

 

What’s Hot on Infosecurity Magazine?