“Sealed court documents obtained by the Daily Dot and Motherboard, however, reveal that the attack was instigated and orchestrated not by Hammond, but by an informant, with the full knowledge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
In addition to directly facilitating the breach, the FBI left Stratfor and its customers—which included defense contractors, police chiefs, and National Security Agencyemployees—vulnerable to future attacks and fraud, and it requested knowledge of the data theft to be withheld from affected customers. This decision would ultimately allow for millions of dollars in damages.
The documents also confirm the integral role of a shadowy hacker, operating under the handle “Hyrriiya,” who provided key access for the now-infamous attack.”
” FROM MOTHERBOARD:
How an FBI informant helped Anonymous hack Brazil
The FBI’s official version of the Stratfor hack, as reported by the New York Times, is that the bureau was made aware of the breach on Dec. 6, 2011, after hackers were already “knee-deep” in confidential files. The FBI claims Hammond informed hacker-turned-informant Hector Xavier Monsegur—also known by the online alias Sabu—of the vulnerability at Stratfor. In turn, the FBI immediately notified the intelligence company, though at that point it was already “too late.”
During his trial, Hammond claimed that the roles were actually reversed: It was Monsegur—released last week on time served—who first introduced him to an anonymous hacker, now known as Hyrriiya, who “supplied download links to the full credit card database as well as the initial vulnerability access point to Stratfor’s systems.”
“I had never even heard of Stratfor until Sabu brought it to my attention,” Hammond said.
His statement echoed a May 2012 letter ostensibly written by Hyrriiya and provided to Hammond’s legal defense team. “I am stating and admitting, AS FACT, that I was the person who hacked Stratfor,” wrote Hyrriiya, a skilled hacker, who’s known primarily for his involvement in hacks of Syrian government websites for Anonymous, two months after Hammond was charged.
Previously, however, no public records have substantiated Hammond’s and Hyrriiya’s claims.
New information, obtained by the Daily Dot and Motherboard in April, not only affirms Hammond’s version of events, but also longstanding accusations that federal investigators allowed an informant to repeatedly break computer-crime laws while in pursuit of Hammond and other Anonymous figures. Further, contrary to its prior statements, the FBI, through its surveillance of Monsegur, was aware of a security breach in the network of the private intelligence company well before it was “too late.”