Wikileaks has published the first batch of more than five million emails from US security publisher Stratfor, which were obtained after hackers affiliated with Anonymous broke into the intelligence group's servers.
In announcing the publication, Wikileaks described Stratfor as “the shadow CIA” and said it would shed light on the group's web of informers, pay-off structure and the payment laundering techniques it used for clients.
These clients are alleged to include Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, the US Department of Homeland Security and the US Defence Intelligence Agency.
Wikileaks said the hacked emails – which it has dubbed The Global Intelligence Files – included more than 4,000 mentioning Wikileaks and its founder, Julian Assange, along with ones that detail Statfor's “attempts to subvert Wikilkeaks”.
Stratfor issued a statement attacking the publication of its internal emails. But it added that it would not attempt to validate whether the emails published by Wikileaks were genuine.
“Some of the emails may be forged or altered to include inaccuracies; some may be authentic. We will not validate either. Nor will we explain the thinking that went into them. Having had our property stolen, we will not be victimised twice by submitting to questioning about them,” it said.
Hackers affiliated with Anonymous breached Stratfor's systems towards the back end of 2011.
Alongside the emails dating back to July 2004, the hackers were able to access details of the firms' customers – including tens of thousands of credit card details.
The Global Intelligence Files represent the first significant release of leaked material from Wikileaks since its founder Assange became embroiled in an extradition battle with Swedish authorities.