Company Moves to More Secure Data System, CEO Friedman Denounces "New Censorship" On Internet
AUSTIN, Texas, Jan. 11, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Stratfor, a leading provider of geopolitical analysis, today relaunched its website, an important step forward as the company responds to the cyber attacks that hit Stratfor in late 2011. The rebuilt website, www.stratfor.com, went live earlier this morning.
The unidentified attackers stole personal information of Stratfor customers and friends, including credit card data for some subscribers. Attackers also destroyed the company's servers in what appeared to be an attempt to silence Stratfor. In response, Stratfor contracted with CSID, a top-ranked provider of identity protection, to provide its services to all customers at Stratfor's expense. The company also retained Sec Theory, a respected Internet security firm, to rebuild its website, email system and internal infrastructure.
In a communication to the company's subscribers, Stratfor CEO George Friedman described the implications of the attack for those outside the company. "While the Internet has become indispensable, it also enables anonymity and undermines accountability," Friedman said. "We are now in a world in which anonymous judges, jurors and executioners can silence whom they want. This is a new censorship that doesn't come openly from governments but from people hiding behind masks."
Stratfor also announced the company's decision to move its entire e-commerce process to a highly secure third-party system, which will eliminate the need for Stratfor to store credit card information in house.
"We did not encrypt credit card files," Friedman said of the company's practice before the cyber attack. "This was our failure. As the CEO of Stratfor, I take responsibility. I deeply regret that this occurred and created hardship for our customers and friends."
After the attack, Stratfor hired Verizon Business to conduct a forensic review of the hack, which destroyed the company's servers. Stratfor is also cooperating with an FBI investigation.
Temporarily, Stratfor's website will be free and accessible to all, but will only contain the company's most recent reports. All archived content will be gradually restored.
Over the next few weeks, Stratfor will communicate with subscribers about how to obtain new, secure passwords and safely engage in credit card transactions.
"While these attacks have created hardship for our customers and been hugely frustrating for Stratfor, they have not prevented us from doing what we have always done — gathering information and producing geopolitical analysis for our subscribers and friends," Friedman added.
For additional information, please go to www.stratfor.com/hacking-news.
Stratfor is a subscription-based provider of geopolitical analysis. Individual and corporate subscribers gain a thorough understanding of international affairs, including what's happening, why it's happening, and what will happen next. Unlike traditional news outlets, Stratfor uses a unique, intelligence-based approach to gathering information via rigorous open-source monitoring and a global network of human sources. Analysts then evaluate events looking through the objective lens of geopolitics. The company's goal is simple: to make the complexity of the world understandable to an intelligent readership, without ideology, agenda or national bias.
Additional information can be found at: http://www.facebook.com/stratfor