recommended reading


Oops-World’s largest transaction clearinghouse exposes client securities transfers

Accidentally leaked credentials; Insider attack

Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation accidentally spammed an individual with login files containing IDs, transactions, and account details for high-profile clients.

The company last year moved more than $1.7 quadrillion in deals for customers like executives at the Bank of America, Barclays, and Deutsche Bank.

The unidentified individual, a reader of the Register, on 12/9 received 20,000 diagnostic emails from DTCC filled with details he should not have been seeing.

The log files listed corporate network activity, such as Windows and Unix logon events and mail server warnings. The alerts revealed session IDs; email addresses for the executives, along with user rankings that identified admin accounts; the time stamps of transactions and logins; and more.

“Our man was at home with the flu watching Lord of the Rings on loop in an effort to get to sleep (a technique he reported was eventually successful) when his iPad started to ring constantly with new email alerts,” the Register reports.

The reader, who has a background in ISP networking, found the messages held information that would be very useful for miscreants with a talent for social engineering or network penetration.

“He first tried emailing DTCC to tell them about the problem, but got an email bounce back. Next he tried an email address of a banker found in one of the files, but the recipient misunderstood the message completely and simply emailed back asking to be removed from the reader's mailing list,” according to the Register.

"I got a bit twitchy when I saw lots of different bankers logging in: I'm studying Internet Crime, so I've been doing a lot of researching on, well, internet crimes," he told the publication.

Eventually, the individual became irked that the spam was masking personal messages and eating into his data plan at a frightening rate via his Gmail-linked Android phone. Luckily (or unluckily), he contacted the press to grab the company’s attention.

“To its credit, DTCC did respond to the issue quite quickly. Its press flack was at her child's birthday party, but alerted the company to the issue and the email flood has now ended,” the Register reports.

"These messages were inadvertently sent out as a result of human error. We have confirmed that this was an isolated incident and that no other individuals received this or similar information," a company spokeswoman told the Register.

She could not verify the root of the problem, but the publication speculates that the error stemmed from the configuration of an IBM QRadar Security Intelligence Platform. The product sends a snapshot of network activity to an admin's email address, and it appears that the individual's address was entered inadvertently. 

ThreatWatch is a regularly updated catalog of data breaches successfully striking every sector of the globe, as reported by journalists, researchers and the victims themselves. 


Financial Services


December 11, 2013

reported by

The Register

number affected


location of breach




location of perpetrators


date breach occurred

December 09, 2013

date breach detected

December 09, 2013

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Modernizing IT for Mission Success

    Surveying Federal and Defense Leaders on Priorities and Challenges at the Tactical Edge

  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

  • Effective Ransomware Response

    This whitepaper provides an overview and understanding of ransomware and how to successfully combat it.

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.