On the last day of last year, Austin's daily newspaper led with a story that it tagged as an "Internet Privacy" report. "Hackers leak Stratfor data," hollered the front-page headline in bold type.
It's likely that 99.9 percent of readers had never heard of Stratfor, Inc. (including me), and the story really wasn't all that newsy. The main point seemed to be that the hack attack was pulled off by Anonymous. This amorphous global collective of incognito, anarchistic "hactivists" has shown a remarkable techno/ politico ability and agility, having penetrated deeply into the supposedly secure computer networks of a wide range of big targets, including Visa, the Church of Scientology, Monsanto, the Egyptian government, Universal Music, the Justice Department, the Tunisian government, Sony, PayPal, and the Bay Area Rapid Transit system.
According to the story, the group had grabbed and publicly released 860,000 email addresses and 75,000 credit card numbers of the obscure firm's customers. While this swipe certainly could be a pain for the customers and an embarrassing mess for Stratfor, such computer invasions are hardly uncommon these days, and this one didn't seem to be very large or significant (perhaps the story's front-page placement stemmed from an editor's civic pride: "By gollies, our little city is big enough to be hit by Anonymous. Read More