A few times before, I have mentioned the website Stratfor. They normally provide a very ‘realist‘ take on global politics. They have interesting sources of information and arguments, and I have found them to be worth reading.
Unfortunately, their entire database of past and present subscribers has been stolen by hackers and released online. If you have ever given them your credit card number, you should probably contact your credit card company immediately to cancel it and have a new card issued with an updated number.
It’s probably a good idea to change your credit card number every few years, regardless. The people at MasterCard said that website hacks like this happen all the time. So often, in fact, that they didn’t want to hear any details about it at all. There are probably a lot of websites that would not notify their users in the event of a breach like the one Stratfor has suffered.
As a side note, this hack demonstrates a couple of things about security. First, the more you hold yourself up as being an expert about security, the more alluring a target you risk making yourself for hackers driven by prestige. This is why the websites of people like the CIA are targeted so often (though such hacks probably aren’t indicative of significant security breaches). Second, there are reputational risks associated with having lax security, especially if you represent yourself as a security expert. I have no doubt that Stratfor’s business will suffer at least a bit because of this.