Feeds

ID thieves pumped then dumped on brokerage houses

$22m losses

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

US-based online brokerage houses have been hit by losses of $22m after an attack by a sophisticated gang of identity thieves.

Rather than using key loggers to snatch the bank account credentials of prospective marks, fraudsters targeted account holders of online brokerage accounts. Using hijacked accounts (or fraudulently created dummy accounts) the crooks bought stock in seldom traded stock, artificially inflating its value, before selling shares (bought before the scam kicked off) at vast profit.

The pump-and-dump scam targeted customers of TD Ameritrade and E-Trade. Both brokerage houses have covered customers' losses. The scam resulted in losses for E-Trade of $18m and $4m for TD Ameritrade, Computerworld reports.

Each said they have instituted extra security measures to make sure they aren't hit again, mainly revolving around the use of anti-fraud technology to enable them to spot suspicious trades more quickly, or customers using two-factor authentication to remove the security risk posed by static login credentials.

The attacks, staged over the last three months, are thought to be the work of hackers in Eastern Europe and Asia. Investigators at the FBI, US Securities and Exchange Commission, and the National Association of Securities Dealers are working to identify the perpetrators of the fraud.

News of the losses came during investor conference calls by TD Ameritrade and E-Trade earlier this month. ®

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
NEW, SINISTER web tracking tech fingerprints your computer by making it draw
Have you been on YouPorn lately, perhaps? White House website?
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Black Hat anti-Tor talk smashed by lawyers' wrecking ball
Unmasking hidden users is too hot for Carnegie-Mellon
Attackers raid SWISS BANKS with DNS and malware bombs
'Retefe' trojan uses clever spin on old attacks to grant total control of bank accounts
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.