About two dozen people were so nice to mail me that my account data is contained in the Stratfor data dump published by someone using the Anonymous label. The credit card has been blocked the moment I first heard that Stratfor has been 0wned, so I hope there is not too much in “donations” that I need to revoke. The password was intentionally primitive and is used no-where else. The physical adress listed there is of course not my real adress, so please don´t send late christmas gifts there.
So what about this hack? The media is currently going bonkers and are assigning all kinds of dangerous-sounding attributes to Stratfor. In reality, the company was more or less a sometimes well-informed, sometimes biased and way off foreign policy online-newspaper. They liked to make their business dangerous sounding, calling themselfes “private intelligence company” etc., like big boys do when they want to seem important. I subscribed years ago because it was a nicely compact way to stay informed on the worldview of a certain faction of the US foreign policy establishment. And sometimes George Friedmans way of geo-strategical analysis actually provided interesting insights.
So, please, everyone calm down. Sure, their client list contained an high quota of “military intelligence complex” companies (next to plenty of normal companies, journalists, NGOs etc.), but that is to be expected given their geo-strategy focus. I don´t know (yet) about the extend and methods of their private consulting business, but I guess we will learn about that very soon from the data in the dumps. I would be a bit surprised if there is something really sinister in there, but you never know.
Stratfors software sucked for years, confirmed now by them even storing everything and even the CVV in the account database, which is illegal. And from my limited interactions with their IT-staff (mostly not under my name) I got the distinct impression that there was the classic gap between limited knowledge and abilities and inflated egos at work. People used to game Stratfors discount schemes for years to obtain subscriptions for next to nothing or simply used the flaws in their handling of google indexing to read many of the posts. So Stratfor was not exactly an “hard target” but more a casual afternoon attack that got blown out of proportion by a bored press over christmas.