Over Christmas, hacktivists breached U.S. intelligence company Stratfor. They published email addresses, passwords and credit card information for about 75,000 subscribers, including thousands of American military personnel and officials (including Dan Quayle, of all people).
I had my Facebook account hacked last year. After being unnerved by the episode, I asked myself why anyone would want to see my Facebook page.
Of course, it wasn’t about me, I’m sure. I barely use Facebook. I don’t post every mundane detail of my day the way some of my narcissistic Facebook friends do. I don’t tweet. Who cares what I’m doing?
I’m sure the hacker was trying to gain access to Facebook through my account to go on to more nefarious acts—far worse than looking at my pictures. Like the dudes (or dudettes) who hacked Stratfor. They set out to embarrass a security firm and catch some big fish in the process (Quayle?).
They succeeded. Stratfor has taken down its website and replaced the home page with a message explaining the incident and pledging rectification. This part of the message stood out to me:
As a result, we have provided paid subscribers with identity protection coverage from CSID, a leading provider of global identity protection, at our expense for 12 months.
Question: Is that just a precaution or are those subscribers at real risk? Also, is that for all 75,000 subscribers?
There’s irony everywhere in this—vaunted security firm hacked, outsources heavier security from another firm, shuts down website and uses “ultra-secure” Facebook and Twitter to communicate to customers and the public.
Facebook, really? That securest of websites where the company’s own founder had his account hacked? And after Stratfor CEO George Friedman just had his own email hacked and used to send prank mail over Christmas? (They evidently didn’t read my post about Facebook’s shortcomings: Facebook Is Bush League.)
“While Stratfor works to re-establish its data systems and web presence,” Friedman wrote on Stratfor’s Facebook wall. “We ask everyone to please consult the Stratfor Facebook page and Twitter feed for company-approved communications.”
Company-approved communications. Right. Or some crap a hacktivist posts for yucks which Stratfor has to apologize for later (again). What kind of messages can we expect here? (Somehow I see Viagra making an appearance.)
Friedman, is that really you?