Hacker group Anonymous began its promised week of Christmas hacks, assaulting a long list of targets. The first Anonymous hack resulted in stolen emails and credit card data from Stratfor, an Austin-based think tank that concentrates on security issues.
One alleged conspirator said the goal was to use that credit card data to steal a million dollars, and give the money away as Christmas donations, the AP reports. Online images, posted to Twitter, show receipts from the donations.
Twitter account @YourAnonNews, which is supposedly linked to the group, tweeted Sunday that the reason it was able to steal the credit card data was because it had not been encrypted by Stratfor — an embarrassing mistake for a company specializing in security.
Among the private clients on Stratfor’s tightly-guarded list — whose information Anonymous accessed — are the U.S. Army, the U.S. Air Force and the Miami Police Department. The list also includes banks, law enforcement agencies, defense contractors, and technology firms such as Apple and Microsoft, the AP reports.
Anonymous also posted images showing receipts of charitable donations made to non-profits. One theft victim, Alan Barr of Austin, did not know his credit card data had been stolen until an AP reporter called him for comment.
“It was all charities, the Red Cross, CARE, Save the Children. So when the credit card company called my wife she wasn’t sure whether I was just donating,” Barr said.
@YourAnonNews tweeted that Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, Kim Kardashian and Taylor Swift were among the next targets.
What do you think of Anonymous’ ironic first target of the week? Who’s next?
**UPDATE:** A press release is circulating, saying that the Stratfor hack is not the work of Anonymous. However, it is difficult to tell who is correct.