http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nm/20010823/wr/manufacturing_brasseagle_dc_1.html By Steve James August 23, 2001 NEW YORK (Reuters) - In the latest in a spate of corporate cyber-invasions, a hacker broke into a paintball company's Web site and sent out phony financial statements Thursday, forcing the Nasdaq stock market to halt trading in the company's shares for more than two hours. After discovering its computer security had been breached overnight, Brass Eagle Inc. (Nasdaq: XTRM) notified law enforcement officials, including the FBI, which has a special unit that investigates computer crimes. An FBI spokesman in Little Rock, Arkansas, said only that the agency was aware of the case. The hacker sent out misinformation about the company's finances in ``hundreds, if not thousands'' of e-mails, said Chief Financial Officer J.R. Brian Hanna. The attack prompted the maker, marketer and distributor of paintball weapons and clothing to reaffirm its earnings guidance for fiscal 2001. ``On the surface it appears to be a hoax,'' Hanna told Reuters by telephone from Bentonville, Arkansas. Asked if it appeared the attack was aimed at manipulating Brass Eagle's stock to gain a financial advantage, he said that was apparently not the motive. ``But after consulting with Nasdaq, we felt it was prudent to make a statement.'' Brass Eagle said it continues to expect fiscal 2001 sales of $100 million to $105 million and diluted earnings per share of about $1.00. ``Everything was fine at the close of business yesterday,'' said Hanna. He said the hacker had apparently entered Brass Eagle's Web site and sent e-mails ostensibly from the company, to addresses of people registered to receive company mailings. This could include everyone from paintball enthusiasts -- of which there are an estimated 7 million in the United States -- to potential investors and Wall Street analysts. A spokesman for the Nasdaq stock market declined any specific comment about Brass Eagle. But he said under Nasdaq rules, ``when a company has material news that might affect its share price, as this (case) would, they are required to publicize it as widely as possible. ``They must notify the Nasdaq usually about 10 minutes before (announcing the news) and we work together on the timing of the trading halt,'' the spokesman said. Trading in Brass Eagle shares was halted around 10.40 a.m. EDT Thursday and resumed more than two hours later. The stock closed on Thursday up 28 cents, at $6.24. Hanna said computer security was being tightened at the company, which employs about 150 people at a plant in Neosho, Missouri, and another 50 in Chula Vista, California, where Brass Eagle makes masks and clothing for paintball -- a manhunt-like game that is also used by some companies to test management skills. The company also operates an ``X-treme'' sports facility, Challenge Park Extreme, in Jolliet, Illinois. This was just the latest case of cyber-invasion in the information age. This month, a student who issued a fake press release that triggered frenzied selling of shares in data storage equipment maker Emulex Corp. (Nasdaq: EMLX) and sent Wall Street into a panic, was sentenced to three years and 8 months in prison. And a day trader accused of posting fake press releases on the Internet claiming Lucent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: LU) would not meet earnings projections, agreed to settle civil fraud charges with federal securities regulators. Earlier this summer, hackers entered a computer system that controls much of the flow of electricity across California, and in Toronto, JDS Uniphase Corp. (JDU.TO) said a hacker broke into its Web site and gained access to a draft of its fourth-quarter financial results. Overseas, Infosys Technologies Ltd , one of India's biggest software companies, said one of its corporate banking Web sites was down for several hours after hackers broke into it. - ISN is currently hosted by Attrition.org To unsubscribe email majordomoat_private with 'unsubscribe isn' in the BODY of the mail.
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