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:

  • It’s Time for the Federal Government to Embrace Wireless and Mobility

    The United States has turned a corner on the adoption of mobile phones, tablets and other smart devices, outpacing traditional desktop and laptop sales by a wide margin. This issue brief discusses the state of wireless and mobility in federal government and outlines why now is the time to embrace these technologies in government.

  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

  • A New Security Architecture for Federal Networks

    Federal government networks are under constant attack, and the number of those attacks is increasing. This issue brief discusses today's threats and a new model for the future.

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

  • Software-Defined Networking

    So many demands are being placed on federal information technology networks, which must handle vast amounts of data, accommodate voice and video, and cope with a multitude of highly connected devices while keeping government information secure from cyber threats. This issue brief discusses the state of SDN in the federal government and the path forward.

  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.


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