Anonymous hacks companies and forces them into charitable donations

28 December 2011

anonymousUh-oh! Thousands of private and government organisations are furiously flicking through their accounts and statements after hacktivists linked to the Anonymous collective made off with a load of credit card information from an American security firm on Christmas Eve.

Then, they went and made a load of donations to charities, which is pretty funny. Apparently, the hackers donated $500,000 to charities online using the stolen data.

The attack went after Stratfor, a Texas-based company which helps to do the security for banks, oil companies and police agencies and of course, a fair chunk of the hack was posted online with files including more than 50,000 credit card, 87,000 email addresses and 44,000 encrypted passwords. British firms such as BP, HSBC and Tesco are named in the files.

“Just a small preview of the mayhem to come,” a message posted with the sample said, “one out of 2.7 million”.

The action was given the name of “Operation Robin Hood” by supporters, but critics chided the hack by saying that the fraudulent donations would only tie up charity staff with administration.

“At the first glance, actions like this look a bit like the actions of Robin Hood - steal from the rich, give to the poor”, said Mikko Hypponen, chief research officer at F-Secure and a leading commentator on cyber crime. “In fact, these actions will just end up hurting the charities, not helping them.”

“When credit card owners see unauthorized charges on their cards, they report them to their bank or credit card company. Credit card companies will do a chargeback to the charities, which will have to return the money. In some cases, charities could be hit with penalties. At the very least, they will lose time and money in handling the chargebacks.”

Or, each firm could sort their security out and let the charitable donations stand as a nice gesture?

TOPICS:   Consumer Advice

6 comments

  • qwertyuiop
    Dear Anonymous, Please could you do something of actual benefit next time and target the corporate offices of the World's banks, empty the coffers of the MDs and their underlings who get paid FAR too much in yearly bonuses and in keeping with your name, anonymously donate the money to each of the World's financially suffering nations. What did you think you'd accomplish by this latest action? The charities you forced the money onto would never be allowed to actually keep it, surely you must have realized this, no?
  • Ravi
    Great thinking by Anonymous. The money will only be taken back from the charities.
  • Kevin
    They seem to forget how easy it is to track money moving around electronically. Even if they'd donated it anonymously it would have been tracked down and taken back. They've been watching 'Hackers' too many times. If they really want to do something then start helping people who want to stand for public office on all levels of politics to give people a choice that they obviously don't think people have at the moment.
  • Sicknote
    Dear Anonymous, When are you going to move out of your parents house and get a job, an income and sexual partner? That is all
  • callum
    "Or, each firm could sort their security out and let the charitable donations stand as a nice gesture?" I doubt it. They could re-donate the money, but once they have contacted the bank about the fraud on their accounts, the banks will charge back all fraudulent money. They won't sit there picking and choosing which bits their customer want back
  • Keith
    Or simply delete a few hundred billion from the richest, which would be the opposite of quantative easing and lower interest rates worldwide :) Printing new money is widely seen as a bad thing, so surely deleting a few billion from those who won't miss but won't let go of it should help everyone out :) NOTE: I may or may not actually be a fully qualified financial consultant. I do however hope they'll be able to pull something big should SOPA go thru.

What do you think?

Connect with Facebook, Twitter, or just enter your email to sign in and comment.

Your comment