It’s a bit of a strange story, and now it seems to be getting even stranger. But for those of us familiar with the shady, difficult-to-trace, and often cleverly obfuscated ways (and I use the term “cleverly” only begrudgingly) in which cybercriminals operate today, it’s not necessarily new.
Here’s the story: This week, the SEC claimed that employees or “co-conspirators” of financial firm BroCo hacked into investors’ online trading accounts to manipulate the stock market.
This is juicy stuff: According to the SEC, BroCo or its co-conspirators “repeatedly hijack[ed] the online brokerage accounts of unwitting investors using stolen usemames and passwords and subsequently plac[ed] unauthorized trades through the compromised accounts.” Those trades elevated the price of certain thinly traded stocks that the hackers already owned, enabling them to sell their stakes at inflated prices.
That’s the feds’ charge, at any rate. And now, the firm is firing back with its own account of what happened. That response is included below (after the jump.)