Hacker May Get To Keep Insider Trading Windfall -- Because He Obtained Info Illegally

from the say-that-again dept

The NY Times is covering a bizarre anomaly associated with "insider trading laws" in the US that may allowed a guy to keep the nearly $300k he scammed by hacking into computers to learn of earnings info before it was actually released. Apparently, the way US securities laws work, if you legally obtain the insider info, you can't trade on it. However, if you illegally obtain the info, you can trade on it, though you're certainly potentially liable for the illegal actions that allowed you to get the info. In this case, the illegal actions were breaking into this computer. However, rather than being charged with computer fraud, he was charged with insider trading. In other words, he was basically charged with the wrong crime, and that may mean that he gets to keep the $300k and go on his merry way.

Filed Under: hacking, insider trading


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  1. icon
    Mike (profile), 19 Feb 2008 @ 1:46am

    Re: ummm

    he didn't hack anything. he cracked into a computer system. hackers are good people who write awesome software like linux. crackers are douchebags who steal via computers. "hacker=bad" is a common misconception. please don't propagate it.

    I'm quite aware of the difference between "hacking" and "cracking" but that's an old and very dead argument. I used to make the same sort of statements here, but we've gone long past the era when the word "hacking" is now used for both good and bad activities. It, by itself, is a neutral word. To say someone "hacked into" a system is an accurate description and I won't apologize for using the word that way.

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