Traders who were shorting Twitter stock ahead of its earnings announcement Tuesday made a giant windfall. Twitter’s shares tumbled 18 percent, and about $5 billion in market cap instantly vanished. Investors were spooked by the $162 million first-quarter loss because the earnings statement was published online about 45 minutes ahead of schedule thanks to a Web-crawling bot that discovered the financials buried deep in Twitter’s investor relations page.
Financial-intelligence firm Selerity of New York is taking credit for publishing Twitter’s abysmal results before NASDAQ’s closing bell. It says it didn’t hack anybody to get them, either. But Selerity’s actions remind us of the exploits of Andrew “weev” Auernheimer, who was criminally prosecuted on hacking charges for obtaining and disclosing the personal data of about 140,000 iPad owners from a publicly available AT&T website.
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