Messages left for Burton weren't immediately returned. Stratfor has speculated that some of the leaked emails may have been altered or forged, although the firm did not provide any evidence of tampering. Anonymous said in a Twitter message that the suggestion of forgery was "pathetic".How WikiLeaks got the company's emails remains unclear. Assange refused to answer questions about the matter om Monday, but Stratfor said the messages appeared to be the same ones stolen by hackers in December. That breach, claimed by the internet activist group Anonymous, ravaged the company's servers and led to the disclosure of thousands of credit card numbers and other information.
Wired magazine quoted an unnamed member of Anonymous as saying that the stolen data had been transferred to WikiLeaks, which allegedly acknowledged receiving the transfer using a coded message on Twitter. Anonymous appeared to confirm that account, pointing to the cryptic message "rats for donavon", which WikiLeaks posted on December 30.
Several media groups, including Rolling Stone magazine and German broadcaster NDR, said they have been offered advance access to the emails and will publish stories based on the documents if appropriate.
Paul J. Weber and Raphael Satter