Hacking the News for Profit - Stock Short Selling

Today the Associated Press' Twitter account was hacked (quite possibly as the result of a sophisticated spear phishing campaign), and started posting fake news headlines.  Specifically, a news headline was posted that there were multiple explosions in the White House, and that the president had been injured.

And while the fact that @AP was compromised was fascinating, what happened next is what should really get your attention.  Shortly after the fake headline was posted, the Dow Jones plummeted 150 points.

While the stock market recovered quickly after the news turned out to be fake, someone could have potentially made millions.

If someone knew when and what stocks were going to drop due to the hacked Twitter account's announcement, they could have performed a short sell on the affected stock(s).

Even if the affected stocks only provided a 1% return, a short on $100,000,000 worth of stocks would result in a $1,000,000 profit.

Something tells me this won't be the last time we see stocks affected by a hacked social media account announcing fake news.  There's a potential for great profit in it.

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