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Monday, December 26, 2011

Anonymous hacks Harry Shearer

Posted By on Mon, Dec 26, 2011 at 4:00 PM


Over the weekend, a group identifying itself as Antisec, which is associated with the Anonymous collective and/or movement, hacked security think tank Stratfor Global Intelligence, then posted thousands of Stratfor clients' credit card numbers and other personal information online. (Group members say the the information — even the credit card numbers — was unencrypted, and it was leaked, in part, to embarrass the company. A Stratfor spokesperson wouldn't comment when the Associated Press asked about the charge.)

Gambit has found that actor-filmmaker-comedian and New Orleans advocate Harry Shearer appears to be among the victims.

The group has posted a list of the firm's big-name "confidential clients," with promises of more releases to come. But Stratfor denies claims that hackers were able to steal detailed information from the confidential list, which according to PCWorld, 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 reports. Stratfor is a major, influential research group, one whose employees regularly appear on or in (and whose reports are regularly cited by) CNN, Fox News, the New York Times, among many, many others. So that list could include anyone who follows any major security issue: North Korea, the Mexican Drug War, the mass uprising in Syria, to name a few fairly broad interest topics.

Anyone. Like say Harry Shearer. I found a listing of Stratfor subscribers' info — including credit card numbers, telephone numbers and addresses which the group has been slowly leaking via file sharing web sites — and to which I'm not going to link here.

I went through it using the search term "New Orleans," and there, in a list heavy on professors, lawyers, defense contractors, real estate developers and energy sector employees, was Shearer. There too were a New Orleans address, an out-of-state phone number, a personal email address and a credit card number, which, if it's active, I hope he's canceled.

Update (4:35 p.m.): I emailed a few questions to Shearer. Here are his responses:

A. Stratfor has contacted me. B.That credit card was compromised and has been canceled. C. I subscribed to Stratfor for one year, at the recommendation, as it happens, of a New Orleans friend of mine.

PS: I'm supporting Sandy Rosenthal as New Orleanian of the Year.

Shearer isn't the only notable New Orleanian whose personal information seems to have been stolen. Others include Heather Hilliard, Jefferson Parish chief administrative assistant for public safety; author James P. Farwell; former New Orleans Police Department Captain and witness in the Henry Glover trial Jeffrey Winn; and philanthropist Louis M. Freeman.

Here's what looks like as of this writing:


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