Online Trading Site Breached

Collective2.com Hacked; Personal Information at Risk The online customers of Collective2.com, a "do-it-yourself" automated trading site, got some bad news last week with news of a breach.

The Westchester, NY-based firm sent emails to its registered users, stating that the company's computer database had been breached by a hacker. The email also said that the information possibly accessed by the hackers included the names, email addresses, passwords and credit card information of users.

The company's founder, Matthew Klein, says all users should log in to change their passwords. "We have contacted federal and state law enforcement authorities, who we hope will track down and prosecute the person responsible," Klein says. "More important: we have changed our database security, locked down our servers and altered our website in order to prevent similar attacks. We are also notifying the three credit bureaus � Equifax, Experian and TransUnion � of the breach."

Launched in 2003, Collective2.com has 25,000 subscribers. It provides users with algorithm-based, computer-generated trading systems that can generate buy and sell recommendations based on variables such as price, volume or other data. Its website says it is an online repository for more than 9,000 automated trading systems developed by mathematicians and traders from around the world.

Trading volume at the site rose to $17.5 billion during the third quarter of 2009; this is higher than the $1.2 billion during 2008's third quarter.

A statement on the company's website says that it has eliminated the security flaw that the hackers exploited. There is no response by the company so far when asked for further details.


About the Author

Linda McGlasson

Linda McGlasson

Managing Editor

Linda McGlasson is a seasoned writer and editor with 20 years of experience in writing for corporations, business publications and newspapers. She has worked in the Financial Services industry for more than 12 years. Most recently Linda headed information security awareness and training and the Computer Incident Response Team for Securities Industry Automation Corporation (SIAC), a subsidiary of the NYSE Group (NYX). As part of her role she developed infosec policy, developed new awareness testing and led the company's incident response team. In the last two years she's been involved with the Financial Services Information Sharing Analysis Center (FS-ISAC), editing its quarterly member newsletter and identifying speakers for member meetings.




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