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Top Morning Stories 01/12/12: Stratfor Chief on Hacking, State Parks Get Financial Boost

Photo by Caleb Bryant Miller/KUT News

Stratfor Chief Lays Out Hacking Ordeal

Austin-based intelligence analysis firm Stratfor's website is back up and running after hackers, who claimed to be with the group Anonymous, stole thousands of credit card numbers and other personal information belonging to Stratfor customers.

Chief Executive George Friedman is now publicly saying the company had not encrypted customer information. On Wednesday Friedman wrote a very personal account of the hacking timeline on Stratfor's website. Here's an excerpt:

Early in the afternoon of Dec. 24, I was informed that our website had been hacked again. The hackers published a triumphant note on our homepage saying that credit card information had been stolen, that a large amount of email had been taken, and that four of our servers had been effectively destroyed along with data and backups. We had expected they would announce the credit card theft. We were dismayed that emails had been taken. But our shock was at the destruction of our servers. This attack was clearly designed to silence us by destroying our records and the website, unlike most attacks by such groups.

State Parks Get Financial Boost

The cash-strapped Texas parks system has been appealing to the public for financial help. The nonprofit Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation has donated $500,000 to state parks. Texas Parks and Wildlife recently said it was $4.6 million short because of the drought, record heat and a decline in visitors.

Craig James Officially Announcing Senate Run Today

ESPN college football analyst Craig James is officially announcing his candidacy for the U.S. Senate seat from Texas today at the Driskill Hotel. James is also scheduled to take part in a Republican candidates debate tonight in Austin hosted by the Texas Public Policy Foundation and Empower Texans.

The TPPF says other participants include Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst and former Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz. They are vying for Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison’s seat. She’s retiring at the end of her term.

Longhorns Victorious as A&M Rivalry Nears End

As Texas A&M prepares to join the Southeastern Conference, both the UT men's and women's basketball teams beat the Aggies last night. The Longhorn men's team beat Texas A&M 61-51 Wednesday night. The Longhorn women beat the Aggies 76-71last night, breaking an 11 game losing streak against A&M.

The men's teams meet again Feb 6th and the women will hit the court one more time on March 4th.