After Anonymous stole thousands of credit card numbers from Stratfor, a Texas-based private intelligence service, the hacktivist collective also claimed to have obtained private emails from the firm. This week, Anonymous began leaking the first of the stolen emails to the general public... and they aren't pretty.
Two "sneak peaks" released by Anonymous on Tuesday of the Stratfor emails contain a series of primarily personal emails that are filled with profanity and violent imagery. The emails are eminently readable; the first appears to consist of threats written by the mentally ill son of a Stratfor employee and the more damaging second leak is of Stratfor employees discussing Anonymous and calling them "hippie arseholes."
In the email, Stratfor's Chris Farnham gave a succinct description of Anonymous:
The chaners/anon/b are educated and at the leading edge of network based technology, have a nebulous structure of loyal people spread through the world with no nationalistic foundations bit drawn together under a shared interest in chaos (hentai and cats, for fuck sake).
The leaked email also features Stratfor honco Fred Burton calling Anonymous "global hippies and arseholes [who] are like CHAOS or THRUSH."
Meanwhile, the first email thread linked by Anonymous—an email exchange between Stratfor employee Mike McCullar and several individuals named Gray Fuller and David McCullar, consists of deeply personal allegations and violent threats; however, these were not made by a Stratfor employee.
For Stratfor, the main issue now will be damage control. If these emails are real (as were the leaked Stratfor credit card numbers and passwords), the leaks will be damaging; and even if the emails are fake, they are still damaging. Anonymous may be "arseholes," but they pack a punch.