a leaked treasure trove of nothing at all…

Anonymous' hack of Startfor is presented as shocking revelations brought to you by elite hackers who toppled an intel powerhouse. The truth is a lot less impressive...
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In the world of popular conspiracy theories, the leak of Stratfor e-mails by Wikileaks and Anonymous is meant to provide us with a look under the dark veneer of intelligence agents for hire and see what they really do on a daily basis to make sure the Military Industrial Complex keeps perpetuating itself. But there is a little problem with that scenario. Startfor actually has a reputation for being The National Enquirer of the intelligence world and their intelligence packets are said to be little more than displays of military pseudo-expertise.

Anonymous basically hacked the Keystone Kops, in no small part because these supposed leaders in global intelligence wouldn’t spring for $40,000 worth of encryption tools and their databases didn’t even use a salted hash for password storage. Even worse, Stratfor’s employees didn’t understand rudimentary cryptography enough not to use the company name as their passwords. We can’t even call what Stratfor had a security setup. Doing so is an insult to any real attempt at security, just as waiving their e-mails around as firsthand evidence of an evil scheme by the MIC’s New World Order is only a step above quoting a few choice posts from Prison Planet.

Were these guys really the CIA’s most trusted people, I’d be very scared. Fortunately, they’re anything but, and while they talk a big game about providing strategic global intelligence, they’re actually more or less glorified, self-promoting location scouts for companies looking to invest in regions where a serious security risk could rear its ugly head. Real firms providing serious strategic intelligence are a lot more low key because instead of running around and advertising themselves as powerful, connected secret agents, they’re actually working, usually in a little nondescript office in the middle of some bleak corporate park, with a very generic name over an opaque door you’ll pass without a second look.

Now, if somehow, Wikileaks got their internal e-mails, that would be a massive coup and could reveal volumes about some of the intelligence world’s black projects, but that’s not what they’ve done at all. They’ve accomplished the equivalent of getting into @PrimorisEra’s Twitter account because the password was “password” and citing her blog post about the Bulava missile, which for all intents and purposes could’ve been written after an hour or two on Wikipedia, as evidence that she really is a world expert in missiles and has exceptional knowledge of aerospace engineering. If I had a disposition for conspiracy theories, I’d go on ATS and label the easy hack of Stratfor a government honey pot for Anons.

So why did Anons decide that Starfor was a great target and why would Wikileaks jump on the hack? Did they fall for the company’s hype? Is there nothing more exciting in Wikileaks’ quivers while Assange prepares for his talk show on a channel sponsored by the Kremlin? Supposedly, the site operated a Tor node, giving it a chance to intercept secretive communications between international agencies and embassies. Did these pipelines dry up or was the whole notion of Wikileaks tapping into the Dark Net to spy on thousands of foreign embassies and NGOs more creative fiction than fact?

Not knowing exactly what goes on at Wikileaks and the thought process of Anons who hacked Starfor makes it very difficult to answer any of these questions with any degree of certainty. But the most likely scenario is that Wikileaks was once again looking for a big story to stay in the headlines and more conspiracy-minded Anons decided that Stratfor really was a big player and decided to find out what it’s up to, certain that the e-mails they read were actually giving them a glimpse into the minds of CIA and NSA analysts. Assange, who’s been known to cry conspiracy on a constant basis, could’ve fallen in for the firm’s posturing as well and made the mistake of assuming that secrecy equals truth, releasing those e-mails with the full Wikileaks treatment while Anons warned that “there will be repercussions for when you choose to betray the people and side with the rich ruling classes,” referring to Stratfor’s clientele.

Then again, while we’re reading tea leaves and reading way too much into things here, we might as well just go ahead and decide that this post is a very elaborate attempt to discredit Startfor to undermine the work of all the Anonymous members dedicated to exposing the corporate-military-industrial-imperial conspiracy through hacktivism, and create negative publicity for Wikileaks at the request of The Man. After all, that’s how criticism of conspiracy theories is usually met, isn’t it? Why would anyone tell these brave souls that instead of peering into the long sought paper trail of espionage and subterfuge, they actually got a lot of hot air with no credibility and wildly exaggerated claims, if not to cover up their tracks?

They worked so hard to find proof and now, after finally getting something that looks like it wouldn’t only a government plant tell them that all their efforts were a long way off the mark? So what if these sinister super-agents can’t be bothered to encrypt their data or pick an effective password, or hell, any password at all instead of the IT department set default? So what if they billed the military for just a few hundred grand while charging an average of $50,000 for location scouting for some companies with international ambitions? They just have to be the long sought NWO agents, don’t they?

# oddities // anonymous / military intelligence / stratfor

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