A scheme to hack into three news wire services to steal yet-to-be released corporate news releases went on for years, reported The New York Times.

“The information the hackers were getting about Clorox, Hewlett-Packard and other companies was so timely it generated as much as $100 million in illicit proceeds for them and the traders, according to securities regulators,” continued the Times report.

The Times story, in part, also stated:

“Law enforcement officials said the companies — Business Wire, PR Newswire and Marketwired — often detected the overseas hackers and kicked them out, but the hackers returned time and time again.

“For years, hackers had gained access to Marketwired by using a series of SQL, or Structured Query Language, injections — instructions written in a specific programming language that is used to retrieve and manage information in computer databases. Over two months in 2012, (a hacker) used SQL injections on Marketwired on at least 390 occasions.

“Once inside the system … hackers would retrieve uploaded releases and share them with traders before they were made public.”

According to another report: “This international scheme is unprecedented in terms of the scope of the hacking, the number of traders, the number of securities traded and profits generated,” said Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Mary Jo White. “These hackers and traders are charged with reaping more than $100 million in illicit profits by stealing nonpublic information and trading based on that information. That deception ends today as we have exposed their fraudulent scheme and frozen their assets.”

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