Feeds

SEC bars trading in 35 spam-touted companies

Rampages through the Pink Sheets

SANS - Survey on application security programs

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) today hit back at 'pump and dump' fraudsters by suspending trading in 35 companies that have been the "subject of recent and repeated spam email campaigns". Next step of its pleasingly named "Operation Spamalot", is to find the perpetrators and bring them to justice.

All the suspended companies are from the "Pink Sheets" and are quoted on an unsolicited basis - in other words, they are not listed on any exchange, they are not subject to the reporting requirements of publicly quoted companies and brokers are not required to conduct due diligence regarding the issuers.

Each week, some 100 million emails are sent with subject headers such as "Ready to Explode," "Ride the Bull," and "Fast Money", the SEC says. Astonishingly, they work a treat, "triggering dramatic spikes in share price and trading volume before the spamming stops and investors lose their money".

In its press release announcing the suspensions, the SEC reveals three examples of spammers at play. Here's one:

"On Friday, Dec. 15, 2006, shares in Apparel Manufacturing Associates, Inc. (APPM) closed at $.06, with a trading volume of 3,500 shares. After a weekend spam campaign distributed emails proclaiming, "Huge news expected out on APPM, get in before the wire, We're taking it all the way to $1.00," trading volume on Monday, Dec. 18, 2006, hit 484,568 shares with the price spiking to over 19 cents a share. Two days later the price climbed to $.45. By Dec. 27, 2006, the price was back down to $.10 on trading volume of 65,350 shares.

®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED
Canadian teen accused of raiding tax computers using OpenSSL bug
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.