Newswire Services Hackers Reap $100 Million Profit

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is cracking down on 32 people who allegedly devised a scheme to profit from hacked nonpublic information about corporate earnings announcements. The suspects include a duo of Ukrainian men charged with hacking into PR Newswire, Business Wire and Marketwired newswire services to steal information, as well as 30 others outside the U.S. who traded against it.

EUThis international scheme is unprecedented in terms of the scope of the hacking, the number of traders, the number of securities traded and profits generated,EU said Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Mary Jo White. EUThese hackers and traders are charged with reaping more than $100 million in illicit profits by stealing nonpublic information and trading based on that information. That deception ends today as we have exposed their fraudulent scheme and frozen their assets.EU

Fascinating New Domain

This is a fascinating new domain in the field of defending against attacks, John Gunn, vice president of Vasco Data Security, told us via a spokesperson. Cash, credit card numbers, and Social Security numbers have high value to all hackers, so they are well protected, especially by banks who spend fortunes protecting their assets, he said. Then he offered a EUbut.EU

EUBut a press release has essentially zero value to anyone except an extremely small group of hackers who can exploit the information in secondary markets,EU Gunn said. EUThis creates a dangerous scenario where zero-value assets that are protected by minimal security come under attack from hackers who have the know-how to convert the asset into significant monetary gain. These hacker mash-ups will become more frequent as enabling technologies make criminal collaboration easier.EU

John Humphries, CMO and co-founder of managed security firm Proficio, offered a stern warning in the wake of the breach. He told us if you have confidential information that can be monetized,...

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