Hacktivist Jeremy Hammond, associated with the hacker groups Anonymous and Antisec, was sentenced to 10 years in prison on November 15th accepting a plea bargain on one count of computer fraud and abuse for breaching and releasing information from Strategic Forecasting Inc. servers.
The attack by Hammond against the private global intelligence firm known as Stratfor occurred in December, 2011. A member of the Antisec hacktivist collective, a joint-venture between Anonymous and another group known as LulzSec, Hammond accessed Stratfor’s server with the intent of obtaining private emails. Not only were 2.7 million emails compromised in the breach, but also the username credit card, address, email, username and password information for tens of thousands of Stratfor customers. The AntiSec group later posted 75,000 records including credit card and address information and instructed other group members to use this information to place donations using the compromised cards which totaled $700,000 fraudulent transactions.
In addition to the use of the compromised payment cards thousands of the emails Hammond stole from Stratfor were released by WikiLeaks. According to prosecutors, Hammond’s breach and dissemination of information stolen from Stratfor resulted in losses between $1 and $2.5 million. Hammond detailed that Stratfor was one of several possible targets suggested by a high ranking Anonymous hacker, Hector Xavier Monsegur, who was caught by the FBI in May 2011 and became an informant leading to the arrest of several Anonymous hacktivists.
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