According to the Expressen newspaper, information on people employed at Sweden’s embassy in Washington, DC, as well as with the Swedish National Defence Radio Establishment (Försvarets radioanstalt – FRA) and large Swedish companies was included among the data taken from global intelligence company Strategic Forecasting, known as Stratfor, and spread on the internet.
Personal information such as email and credit card details of staff at Swedish telecom equipment maker Ericsson as well as with the Folke Bernadotte Academy, a government agency focused on improving international conflict and crisis management, was also exposed in the data breach, which took place on December 24th.
“This is a blow against the electronic financial system, and I’m guessing that’s what they’re trying to get at,” Ingolf Kiesow, a former Swedish ambassador to Kuwait and one of the Swedes whose data was exposed in the attack, told Expressen.
“I hurts confidence in credit card use. You can’t use your credit card in the say way any more.”
On Sunday, Stratfor confirmed that information about its clients had been exposed in the hacker attack.
“On December 24th an unauthorized party disclosed personally identifiable information and related credit card data of some of our members,” the company said in a statement, according to CNN.
“We have reason to believe that your personal and credit card data could have been included in the information that was illegally obtained and disclosed.”
While initial reports indicated that activist hacker collective Anonymous was responsible for the attack, another statement circulating on the internet cast doubt on the claim.
“This hack is most definitely not the work of Anonymous,” read an “Emergency Christmas Anonymous Press Release” dated Christmas Day.