Malicious hacker seeks to manipulate share price

'Enterprise computing' enthusiast uploads bogus press release

The phrase 'enterprise computing' got a new meaning yesterday as a malicious intruder uploaded a bogus press release to a Web site run by US biotech outfit Aastrom Biosciences in an apparent attempt at manipulating the company's share prices. The fraudulent press release announced a merger between Aastrom and Geron, another biotech firm. The Company alerted NASDAQ authorities to the violation and says it is investigating the matter further, though to what effect we cannot say. They don't exactly sound like experts in the field of Internet architecture and Web site security, we must observe. "We are appalled by this ruthless attempt to manipulate markets and potentially harm the shareholders of both companies," Aastrom President and CEO Douglas Armstrong huffed. "While we have no idea how this occurred, we are currently investigating the security of the Web site," he added. This illustrates neatly what the hacking underground has been sniggering over for years now, namely that in the mad rush to run up their Web sites, hundreds if not thousands of companies have become sitting ducks with "no idea" about a lot of things which routinely occur in cyber space. ®

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