Wikileaks `has started to release more than 5 million emails from Stratfor, a Texas-headquartered global security analysis company that has been compared to a shadow CIA.
Wikileaks refers to the release as The GIFiles – The Global Intelligence Files. The emails, dated between July 2004 and December 2011 – taken by hackers targeting the company during December 2011 – may shed light on sensitive information, sensitive sources, and questionable intelligence gathering techniques used by the company which has Fortune 500 companies among its clients.
In a statement Stratfor said, “In December, thieves compromised Stratfor’s data systems and stole a large number of company emails, along with other private information of Stratfor readers, subscribers and employees.”
Among the leaked emails is a spreadsheet from 2007 [note: link may be unavailable from time to time] that lists clients’ names, usernames, passwords, and other details. l
The statement by Stratfor continued, “As with last year’s hack, the release of these emails is a direct attack on Stratfor. This is another attempt to silence and intimidate the company, and one we reject.”
A Wikileaks statement says the emails contain sensitive information about how Stratfor has close ties with US government agencies and that it employs former US government staff.
Shortly after the release of the emails by Wikileaks a rumour spread that Stratfor’s CEO George Freidman had resigned; however, the company has since denied that claim.
AnonSec, a twitter account linked to the hacker group known as Anonymous tweeted, “Congrats on the amazing partnership between #Anonymous and #WikiLeaks to make all 5 million mails public” – the AnonSec Twitter account was protected at the time of publication, making independent verification of the claim impossible.
Wikileaks said it worked with several media partners and organizations to analyze and release the emails. Organizations include a group called ‘The Yes Men’, an activist group that raises awareness of problematic social issues.
The Stratfor statement concluded, in part, saying “Stratfor understands that this hack and the fallout from it, including the disclosures by Wikileaks, have created serious difficulties for our subscribers, friends and employees. We again apologize for any problems this incident has created, and we deeply appreciate the loyalty that has been shown to Stratfor since last year’s hack.”