A fallacious report of delays in production of the iPhone and Leopard operating system was enough to plunge Apple stock briefly and cost some people some serious electronic money.
Apple fell more than 4.47 points -- wiping just over 4 billion off the company's capitalization, according to Techcrunch -- in the space of six minutes after Ryan Block, a reporter for Engadget, posted a report that Apple's iPhone would be delayed by four months and its new Leopard operating system by three. [More]With so much of the trading in commodities - like stocks - controlled by algorithmic computer programs, selling short and then posting some credible, but shocking tidbit on an not-too-obscure blog/website could reap some real change.
Not that it had ever crossed my mind, of course...
The guys I would suspect first are our old friends in Russia. They seem to be big into computer attacks. Maybe the next Great Grain Robbery will be by remote control.