Global Analysis Firm Strafor Back Online After Hacking

Texas-based geopolitical analysis company Stratfor said Wednesday that it was relaunching its online operations, after hackers stole credit card numbers and personal information off its site in December.

Hacking collective Anonymous admitted the cyberattack on Christmas Eve and went on to claim that it used the stolen details to make $500,000 in charitable donations to The American Red Cross and Save the Children, as well as other charities.

Anonymous eventually released the stolen data to the world, including 75,000 credit card numbers and 860,000 usernames and passwords. Approximately 50,000 of those belong to .mil or .gov email accounts used by the U.S. government.

George Friedman -- who is the founder, chief intelligence officer and CEO of Stratfor -- disclosed Wednesday that the company had not encrypted personal information before the hacking, which destroyed its servers.

"We did not encrypt credit card files," Friedman said in a news release. "This was our failure. As the CEO of Stratfor, I take responsibility. I deeply regret that this occurred and created hardship for our customers and friends."

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The company said it would move its entire e-commerce process to a secure third-party system, eliminating the need to store credit card information in-house.

Visitors to Stratfor's website were still experiencing problems early Wednesday, with the company blaming heavy traffic in a message to subscribers.

"We may experience brief service interruptions as we work to handle the high level of interest in the new website. If you have trouble connecting to the new site, please check back again soon," the message said.

Stratfor is considered an authority on strategic and tactical intelligence issues. It has published a daily intelligence briefing since its inception in 1996.