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Cards hacked for donations?

By Lucy Lazarony · Bankrate.com
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Posted: 5 pm ET

It was not a merry Christmas for clients and employees of a U.S.-based security think tank.

A loose-knit group of computer hackers known as "Anonymous" claimed Sunday to have pilfered thousands of credit card numbers and other personal information belonging to clients of Stratfor, a security analysis firm based in Austin, Texas, according to reports from The Associated Press.

One hacker claimed the goal was to steal funds from individuals' accounts and then give them away as Christmas donations. And some victims confirmed unauthorized donations made to charities from credit cards, the AP reports.

Anonymous claims to have stolen Stratfor's confidential client list, which includes companies and government agencies ranging from Apple Inc. to the U.S. Air Force to the Miami Police Department.

Stratfor told its subscribers that it had suspended its servers and email after learning its website had been hacked, AP reports.

Some of the stolen files appear to be alphabetical listings of Stratfor clients with related credit card information. The amount of data posted online by the hackers suggest that information on more than 100,000 individuals and thousands of companies has been compromised, according to the AP.

When hacking happens to you

How safe is your credit card and personal financial information from hackers and identity thieves?

Here's a roundup of simple things you can do to avoid exposing your financial data to thieves. Be proactive and protect yourself.

If you suspect you may be  a victim of identity theft, be fast and aggressive in stopping a thief's shopping spree. These tips will show you how.

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