The global security analysis company Strategic Forecasting Inc will settle a class action lawsuit brought by one of its customers in January over a crippling cyberattack. Stratfor, as the Austin, Texas-based firm is known, was breached in December by hackers affiliated with the Anonymous group who published lists of hundreds of thousands of email addresses belonging to subscribers along with thousands of customer credit card numbers.
U.S. federal prosecutors in Manhattan have charged one person in the United States and four Irish and British men with the hack.
U.S. District Judge Denis Hurley in Central Islip on New York's Long Island approved a proposed settlement and, in doing so, granted class action status to the underlying lawsuit.
Under settlement terms, Stratfor does not admit any "wrongdoing, fault, violation of law or liability of any kind." The settlement calls for Stratfor to offer one month of free access to its service and an electronic book; the two together may cost Stratfor approximately $1.75 million, according to estimates in the settlement.
The settlement also calls on Stratfor to pay for credit monitoring service on request and continue paying for additional security to protect their network. A $400,000 lump sum will go to paying plaintiff attorneys and various fees. Once the settlement is given final approval, Stratfor agrees to share any amount it recovers from its insurer over the breach. The judge set a final approval hearing for September 28.
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