August 11, 2015 Last Updated 2:47 pm

Feds plan to charge ‘rogue’ traders who hacked press releases to gain advantage trading stocks

The New York Times reported this morning that federal authorities in New Jersey and in Brooklyn would be bring charges against traders who are accused of hacking news releases prior to publishing in order to trade stocks, gaining an advantage that netted them healthy profits.

“It said that the men had been hacking into companies like Business Wire and PR Newswire over five years to steal more than 150,000 news releases posted by publicly traded corporations before the information had been released to the public,” the NYT reported. “The men, some of them hackers in Eastern European countries and others located in the United States who traded on the information, made at least tens of millions of dollars trading with the information. Another company that had its releases stolen was MarketWire, according to the indictment.

Business Wire today released their own press release saying they would cooperate fully with the DOJ in their investigation.

The scheme was pretty smart: hacking into the services to gain access to releases before they appeared publicly, then trading stocks involved in some of those announcements. The Times was sure to call the hackers ‘rogue’ traders, continuing a policy of being careful when describing the actions of Wall Street.

Here is BusinessWire’s own statement:

NEW YORK, NY – August 11, 2015 — Business Wire has been cooperating fully with the U.S. Department of Justice in its investigation of a sophisticated global hacking scheme that is alleged to have gained unauthorized access to non-public, market-moving information.

In addition to working closely with the U.S. Government, Business Wire proactively hired a prominent cybersecurity firm to conduct additional forensic testing of its systems, and to provide assurance that Business Wire’s network is fully operational and secure.

“Security is our number one concern at Business Wire,” said Cathy Baron Tamraz, the company’s CEO. “We devote substantial resources annually to security, including multiple security audits by leading industry consultants. Protecting the confidential information of our clients is of paramount importance. Despite extreme vigilance and commitment, recent events illustrate that no one is immune to the highly sophisticated illegal cyber-intrusions that are plaguing every aspect of our society.”

Business Wire will continue to fully cooperate and assist in this ongoing investigation.

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