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About Anonymous, Donations and Charities

26
Dec
2011

Members of the Anonymous collective announced during Christmas that they had broken into stratfor.com.

STRATFOR is an organization that gathers open source intelligence for forecasting purposes. They sell their publications via stratfor.com. As far as we can tell, Anonymous gained access to a subscriber list stored on stratfor.com, and that list contained unencrypted credit card data.

Anonymous has now published two lists of credit card details belonging to people who have subscribed to STRATFOR reports. The first one contained 3956 card details and the second one 13191 card details. These card details belong to subscribers all over the world.

stratfor

After the credit card leaks, various members of Anonymous have published screenshots where these credit cards have been used to do sizable donations to various charities. The charities have included Red Cross, CARE, Save The Children and the African Child Foundation.

stratfor

stratfor

At the first glance, actions like this look a bit like the actions of Robin Hood – steal from the rich, give to the poor.

But unfortunately, in this case the poor won’t get a dime.

These donations will never reach the ones in need. 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 will 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 with penalties. At the very least, they will lose time and money in handling chargebacks.

Merry Christmas.

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