The day has come, WikiLeaks began publishing more than five million emails from Texas-based global security think tank company Stratfor, a global intelligence firm.
This time WikiLeaks has chosen a strategic partner, the international Internet hacktivist group of Anonymous, two forces that together are able to frighten the world’s great, the new alliance against dirty affairs.
Last Christmas has been reminded also for the hack of the Stratfor Global Intelligence service made by the same collective Anonymous who disclosed company website and also the full client list of over 4000 individuals and corporations. They gained access to a subscriber list stored on stratfor.com, and that list contained unencrypted credit card data of the customers. The full client list was published on pastebin by Anonymous.
The published email demonstrate that Stratfor company was providing confidential intelligence services to several corporations, such as Lockheed Martin, and also to government agencies such as the US Department of Homeland Security, the US Marines and the US Defense Intelligence Agency.
This information does not really surprise the experts, however, Anonymous and Wikileaks have shed light on the dense web of relationships that the organization is managing, the way in which the funds were managed and highly questionable methods by which the firm exercised control of those deemed strategic pawns of a spy game.
The emails show Stratfor’s web of informers, pay-off structure, payment-laundering techniques and psychological methods, for example:
“[Y]ou have to take control of him. Control means financial, sexual or psychological control… This is intended to start our conversation on your next phase” – CEO George Friedman to Stratfor analyst Reva Bhalla on 6 December 2011, on how to exploit an Israeli intelligence informant providing information on the medical condition of the President of Venezuala, Hugo Chavez.
The published material also contains information about the censorship operation against Julian Assange and WikiLeaks conducted by the US government and supported by the Stratfor, more than 4,000 emails mentioning WikiLeaks or Julian Assange.
The exposed material shows how Government and diplomatic sources all around the world give Stratfor firm advance knowledge of the events and of the politic strategies, all in exchange for money. A great spider of informants, government employees, embassy staff and journalists, recruited in everywhere and paid through Swiss banks accounts and pre-paid credit cards.
Anonymous told the editorial staff of the portal Wired that future collaborations with WikiLeaks could involve a series of hacks that will be announced, one after another, every Friday for the foreseeable future.
In this story I find interesting the consolidation of a partnership of two groups that have created the concept if hacktivism, groups of people who express their dissent through a technological medium. The proximity of the two collective shows, in my opinion, that groups like Anonymous not move at the mercy of events but are pursuing a deliberate strategy.
During this period, on many occasions has been declared that the group of hacker could be responsible for the foreseeable future attacks on critical infrastructure. The group has always distanced itself from such allegations, rejecting them … most likely in a few months it will be able to tell us who are trying to exploit the name Anonymous.