Indian Hackers Join the Pump & Dump Phenomena

by Brandi Moore on May 28, 2007

US News issued its top 5 computer crime report a few days back listing a group in India as number one.  Looks like the pump and dump scheme has caught on inside the “Incredible” Continent.

For those of you without daily insight into the ways and means of computer hackers this scam is ever more popular and usually results in intense confusion for the consumer that is targeted.  One client of mine was using an un-named online brokerage account to manager her stocks and bank accounts.  She checked her account one afternoon to find lots of cash, over $50,000 missing that was used to purchase penny shares.  These shares were quickly “dumped” after being “pumped” by hackers buying the stock across hundreds of accounts, unknown to these account owners of course.

But here in lies the problem—the client called her brokerage who then changed her password thinking as customer service folks usually do, that this would resolve the problem.  Next day same thing happens again.  Password is reset again.  Account is hacked again.  What is she didn’t realize, and of course the bank failed to consider this as well, was that a trojan was living on her machine stealing her passwords and sending them back to the hacker.  Guess what?  New password were transported immediately.  How did she find this out?  After loosing over $100K and having her bank refuse to refund her the money she called my company for help who immediately — like within about 2 hours — determine the problem.

The moral of this story is watch your online accounts, don’t download questionable files, and consider using a bank that offers intense password security such as etrade who offers a securID key.

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