The Next ‘Gamestop’: How China or Russia Could Attack Our Financial System
Robert Carlson, Gray Gaertner, 16 March 2021
Last week, the dramatic rise and fall in the price of Gamestop demonstrated how vulnerable the stock market is to social media speculation. U.S. regulators should now turn their attention to a greater risk—that in the near future, China, Russia, or another adversary could coordinate an unwitting mob to harm the American financial system.
The potential for financial warfare follows from a playbook that China, and especially Russia, have drawn from repeatedly to meddle in U.S. domestic politics. First, foreign state agents have used social media to spread disinformation or stoke existing grievances. Second, they have counted on naive users to share the original posts, allowing the content to reach a larger audience. Finally, they fan the flames to provoke action.
In 2016 and 2020, Russian propaganda decreased U.S. voters’ trust in their candidates and the political system. During last year’s protests over race and policing, foreign bots amplified instances of both racial discrimination and violent protests, further polarizing American society. Following Joe Biden’s electoral victory in November, Russian agents embraced false allegations of fraud, providing the rationale for an armed mob to assault the Capitol Building. China spends at least $10 billion per year on its own influence operations through the United Front Work Department, which promotes pro-Beijing narratives overseas.
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Russian central bank blocks effort by private investors to coordinate on stocks via Telegram
Alexander Marrow, 10 March 2021
MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia’s central bank said on Wednesday it had ordered brokers to block the accounts of more than 60 private investors it suspected of coordinating in a Telegram channel to try to raise the share price of an electric utilities firm.
In a development reminiscent of lurches in U.S. video game retailer GameStop’s stock price in January, the regulator said it had detected non-market pricing on Friday in shares in MRSK Yuga, a Rosseti portfolio company.
The central bank said it had sent instructions to Sberbank, VTB, Tinkoff, Alfa Bank, Otkritie Broker, BCS and Aton to suspend deals and operations on organised trading for individual clients. Continue reading “Article: Russian central bank blocks effort by private investors to coordinate on stocks via Telegram”
Russian Nationals Charged With Series of Hacking and Bank Fraud Offenses
Security Magazine, 05 December 2019
The US, through its Departments of Justice and State, and the UK, through its National Crime Agency (NCA), announced the unsealing of criminal charges in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Lincoln, Nebraska, against Maksim V. Yakubets, aka online moniker, “aqua,” 32, of Moscow, Russia, related to two separate international computer hacking and bank fraud schemes spanning from May 2009 to the present. A second individual, Igor Turashev, 38, from Yoshkar-Ola, Russia, was also indicted in Pittsburgh for his role related to the “Bugat” malware conspiracy. Continue reading “Article: Russian Nationals Charged With Series of Hacking and Bank Fraud Offenses”