A group identifying itself as Antisec, which is associated with the Anonymous collective/movement, hacked computers at security think tank Stratfor Global Intelligence over Christmas weekend, then posted thousands of Stratfor clients' credit card numbers and other personal information on file-sharing websites. Among the victims, Gambit found, was local actor-filmmaker Harry Shearer.
"I subscribed to Stratfor for one year, at the recommendation, as it happens, of a New Orleans friend of mine," Shearer wrote in an email to Gambit. His New Orleans address, along with an out-of-state phone number, personal email address and a credit card number were disclosed in the leak. Shearer wrote that the firm informed him of the hack and he canceled the compromised credit card.
The scope of the Stratfor breach isn't clear. Stratfor denies claims that hackers were able to steal its most important files, which according to a report in PC World magazine, may include "sensitive information about Stratfor's high-profile clients, such as Apple, the U.S. Air Force and the Miami Police Department." The firm, however, doesn't deny that Antisec managed to snag personal information on subscribers to its published intelligence and news reports, which are often cited by major national news outlets.
Shearer wasn't the only local on the list. Others whose information appeared to be compromised include Jefferson Parish chief administrative assistant for public safety Heather Hilliard; author James P. Farwell; Jeffrey Winn, a former New Orleans Police Department captain (and witness in the Henry Glover trial); and philanthropist Louis M. Freeman. — Charles Maldonado