INTELLIGENCE FIRM Stratfor has responded to a massive leak of its emails by calling the leakers "thieves".
The firm has been hacked twice by Anonymous. However it is the booty from the earlier attack that has pushed it to comment.
Emails from that attack have been published by Wikileaks and are online now. Stratfor is not happy. "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," it said.
"Those stolen emails apparently will be published by Wikileaks. This is a deplorable, unfortunate - and illegal - breach of privacy."
Wikileaks does not credit Anonymous as its source in its official statement about the release, but it is hard to imagine that they come from anywhere other than Anonymous, the group that has run wild through Stratfor's servers twice.
The loose hacking collective has taken credit, however, saying, "Why'd #Anonymous give the Stratfor #GIFiles to WikiLeaks? Transparency, whether forced or voluntary, is a necessity to understand our world."
"Today WikiLeaks began publishing The Global Intelligence Files - more than five million emails from the Texas-headquartered 'global intelligence' company Stratfor. The emails date from between July 2004 and late December 2011. They reveal the inner workings of a company that fronts as an intelligence publisher, but provides confidential intelligence services to large corporations," Wikileaks said.
"The emails show Stratfor's web of informers, pay-off structure, payment-laundering techniques and psychological methods."
Stratfor said that "some of the emails" might be "forged or altered to include inaccuracies", while some are real. It added that it would not validate either, nor enter into any discussions about them.
"Having had our property stolen, we will not be victimized twice by submitting to questioning about them," it added.
"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. Stratfor is not a government organization, nor is it affiliated with any government. The emails are private property. Like all private emails, they were written casually, with no expectation anyone other than the sender and recipient would ever see them. They should be read as such."
Stratfor thinks that by not addressing questions about their emails, they can avoid criticism. WRONGO. bit.ly/yo6uzC— Anonymous (@AnonyOps) February 27, 2012
One email highlighted by Wikileaks in its release apparently came from the Stratfor CEO, George Friedman and was sent to an analyst at the organisation. It concerns methods for exploiting an informant.
"[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," it said. µ
Plus the cost of ambition as moonshots eat into the coffers
Spoiler alert: it's probably VeriSign
Did we say cuts off? We meant traps them inside their own home