Twitter’s first Flash-Crash

Yesterday, some jolly trickster hacked into the Associated Press’s twitter account (@AP) and tweeted

“Breaking: Two explosions in the White House and Barak Obama is injured”

Predictably the market collapsed 0.8%, before rallying on the news that it’s a hoax.

It would be so easy to earn serious money, with almost no chance of getting caught. You need the password. You need to open a trading account for CFDs or Spread-Betting. You need to establish a pattern of trading. You need to have a situation where a $100 a tick position would be entirely normal. You need to open just such a position, shortly before your associate, working from an internet cafe elsewhere, logs into AP’s Twitter and tweets the bogus bomb story.

The fact this happened shortly before the market close suggests the plan was to go long in the final seconds of trading, ensuring another big profit, when the markets open up today on news of the hoax getting around.

As it happened, the hoax was spotted quickly, and the Markets recovered before the close of play. Still, it would be quite possible to make hundreds of thousands of Dollars in a couple of minutes work. This post is of course, an elaborate double bluff.

“Of course I’d do no such thing. Look, I’ve written about it, yer ‘onner.” 

Can anyone get me Reuters’ twitter password?

3 replies
  1. Bill
    Bill says:

    Indeed. This highlights the importance of double-sourcing major information (from an equally-reliable source) before passing it on or before making investment decisions based on it 😉

    Reply

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