Teen Hacks into Brokerage Account to Unload Options | AccountingWEB

Teen Hacks into Brokerage Account to Unload Options

The U.S. Attorney’s office in Massachusetts has charged Van T. Dinh, 19, of Pennsylvania, with identity theft. He is accused by the Securities and Exchange Commission hacking into someone else’s brokerage account to dump his Cisco Systems Inc. stock options.

According the SEC’s civil complaint, Dinh avoided a $37,000 loss on the Cisco options, which were trading below market value, by using someone else’s online account to sell them.

The SEC’s civil complaint alleges that Dinh invited users of an online investors’ chat room to check out a new stock-charting tool. The software tool was in fact a computer keystroking program called The Beast, which allowed Dinh to track the computer activity of anyone who downloaded it.

The SEC claims he used this ability to gain access to another person’s TD Waterhouse brokerage account and proceeded to unload the Cisco options.

The Journal reported that John Reed Stark, chief of the SEC's office of Internet enforcement, said Dinh “generated a market when there was none out there and set up an insurance policy for himself.” Stark recommended that Internet traders install firewalls and other security measures to keep their information private.

Wait, there's more!
There's always more at AccountingWEB. We're an active community of financial professionals and journalists who strive to bring you valuable content every day. If you'd like, let us know your interests and we'll send you a few articles every week either in taxation, practice excellence, or just our most popular stories from that week. It's free to sign up and to be a part of our community.
Premium content is currently locked

Editor's Choice

WHAT KIND OF FIRM ARE YOU?
As part of our continued effort to provide valuable resources and insight to our subscribers, we're conducting this brief survey to learn more about your personal experiences in the accounting profession. We will be giving away five $50 Amazon gift cards, and a $250 Amazon gift card to one lucky participant.
This is strictly for internal use and data will not be sold
or shared with any third parties.