Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Muddy Waters website hacked in likely revenge attack

The website of Muddy Waters LLC, a research firm headed by short-seller Carson Block has been brought down by hackers a day after Block accused Chinese advertising firm Media Focus Holding Ltd. of overstating the number of LCD advertising screens it had [Financial Post].

Muddy Waters has criticised several Chinese companies this year, accusing them of cooking their books and misleading investors. One of the firms targeted is Sino-Forest, a Chinese-Canadian forestry firm which is continuing to deal with the fallout after being accused of overstating its forestry holdings earlier this year. In June, the company released highly critical report on Sino-Forest, which resulted in the company's stock value nosediving [Financial Post].

While there is no immediate word on who hacked Muddy Waters' website there will be strong suspicions that it is a revenge attack after Focus Media's stock fell 39% yesterday following the critical report released by the research firm [Business Insider].

As for Muddy Waters themselves they have only acknowledged the hack via message on their website which reads: "MW regrets that our site has been hacked. We will bring it up as soon as possible. FMCN [Focus Media Holding Limited] is still a Strong Sell" [CNBC / WSJ].

tvnewswatch, London, UK

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