Attack Computer Wiz

A Security & Technology Weblog

On Monday the United States Securities and Exchange Commission filed a complaint to freeze the assets of a company that is accused of manipulating stock prices. The company, BroCo Investments located in Russia, was using stolen user accounts and passwords to purchase stocks at a higher then market price and then selling their own legitimately purchased stocks for a profit. This would then leave the victim owning stocks that were bought at a premium.

In layman’s terms, and hypothetically speaking, the scam worked like this;

  1. BroCo purchases stock ABC for $1.00
  2. BroCo uses the hacked accounts to purchase more stock of ABC for $1.30, driving the price up.
  3. BroCo sells stock ABC for $1.30 that they purchased in step 1, in turn driving the cost back down.
  4. Now the victim, who's account was hacked in step 2, is stuck with ABC at $1.30.
Allegedly BroCo profited about $255,532 in this scheme and their victims suffered losses exceeding $600,000. You can see the press release and copy of the complaint at the link below. For a complete description on how they pulled this off, download the SEC complaint from the link below, go to page 6, and read items 16 through 23.

SEC Press Release

SEC Complaint

user Posted by Mike Wright

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