Breaking News: Wirecard may be related to hacker attacks against critics, short-sellers, and journalists.
Right at the start. The Financial Times‘ findings that the German FinTech Wirecard may be related to online attacks on critics are neither new nor surprising. It is well known in the scene that the Austrian Wirecard CEO Markus Braun and his fellow board member Jan Marsalek dig deep into their pockets when it comes to keeping critics quiet through lawsuits, PR campaigns, or social media attacks.
A hackers-for-hire group dubbed “Dark Basin” has targeted thousands of individuals and hundreds of institutions around the world, including advocacy groups, journalists, elected officials, lawyers, hedge funds and companies, according to the internet watchdog Citizen Lab.Financial Times article published 9 June 2020
Twitterati posting negative tweets about Wirecard are often heavily attacked by other Twitter users. If one then looks closer at these “other” Twitter users, uncovers fake accounts in 9 out of 10 cases. Those fake accounts typically have only a few followers and hardly any sense-making tweet. These Twitter accounts are used by organizations like “Dark Basin” for these special purposes.
According to the Canadian Internet watchdog The Citizen Lab‘s report titled Uncovering a Massive Hack-For-Hire Operation, the so-called Dark Basin was targeting hedge funds, short sellers, journalists, and investigators working on topics related to accounting irregularities at the German FinTech Wirecard.
The most prominent targeting of the financial sector concerned a cluster of hedge funds, short sellers, journalists, and investigators working on topics related to market manipulation at German payment processor Wirecard AG. We note that the offices of Wirecard AG were searched on Friday, June 5 2020 by German police in connection with a criminal investigation against certain executive board members launched by Munich prosecutors.
After extensive work with targeted organizations and individuals surrounding the Wirecard AG case, we concluded the unifying thread behind this targeting was its aim at individuals who held short positions in Wirecard AG around the time of the targeting and financial reporters covering the Wirecard AG case.The Citizen Lab, Dark Basin – Uncovering a Massive Hack-For-Hire Operation
Of course, Wirecard denies any contact with hackers in general or Dark Basin in particular. It is time for Wirecard to get a new board, isn’t it?