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Monday
Dec262011

Hacking Group 'Anonymous' Takes First Step in 'Master Plan'

CamEl Creative/Getty Images(AUSTIN, Texas) -- The global activist hacking group Anonymous claims to have obtained thousands of credit card numbers and personal information from the high-profile clients of a leading security think tank, all in the name of charity.

Up to a total of $1 million was reportedly stolen from Stratfor, in Austin, Texas, a leading provider of military, economic and political analysis for clients that include Apple and the U.S. Air Force.

Anonymous, an online community with no hierarchical organization, has been working with the hacking group Lulzsec on a series of hacking attacks it calls Operation Anti-Security, or Operation AntiSec. The operation began in June 2011, with an attack on the Serious Organized Crime Agency, the U.K.'s national law enforcement agency. Since then, attacks have targeted the governments of Brazil, Tunisia and Zimbabwe, NATO, various U.S. law enforcement websites and Fox News.

Anonymous promised that the attack on Stratfor was just the beginning of an assault on a long list of targets.

"#Antisec has enough targets lined up to extend the fun fun fun of #LulzXmas throught the entire next week," @AnonymousIRC tweeted.

In a statement released Monday, Anonymous said, "Tomorrow, we will be dropping another enormous dump on our next target: the entire customer database from an online military and law enforcement supply store."

The group said Stratfor was "clueless ... when it comes to database security," noting that many passwords were merely the company's name. Stratfor's website is currently shut down, with the message, "Site is currently undergoing maintenance."

The company did not immediately return a call to ABC News, but did recognize the attack on Facebook and warned its clients against publicly supporting the company: "It's come to our attention that our members who are speaking out in support of us on Facebook may be being targeted for doing so and are at risk of having sensitive information repeatedly published on other websites."

Anonymous claims it isn't hurting people but rather donating the stolen money to various charities, like a modern day Robin Hood. Receipts the group posted show donations to the Red Cross and Save the Children Foundation.

Anonymous has made headlines the world over for a string of high-profile hacks the group claims to have carried out -- from allegedly hitting the websites for Paypal, Visa and Mastercard to name a few.

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