Intel: Hackers stole unpublished earnings info from corporate site

Intel disclosed on Thursday that unknown threat actors stole an infographic containing info on the company’s fourth-quarter and full-year 2020 financial results.

The data was part of Intel’s yet unpublished quarterly earnings the company was planning to publish and file with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission after the stock market closed on Thursday.

Earnings report published ahead of time

However, after discovering the incident and finding that the stolen info was being shared outside the company, Intel published the quarterly earnings report minutes before the market’s closure.

“We are investigating reports that non-authorized access may have been obtained to one graphic in our earnings material,” Intel told BleepingComputer.

“Yesterday, once we became aware of these reports, we made the decision to issue our earnings announcement a brief time before the originally scheduled release time.”

This measure was taken to prevent individuals who might have gained access to the stolen infographic from illegally using the information obtained in advance for an unfair advantage on the market.

Undisclosed earnings info stolen from corporate news site

The infographic was accessed and exfiltrated from Intel’s corporate PR newsroom website as the company’s Chief Financial Officer George Davis told the Financial Times — an infographic containing information related to the Q4 & FY 202o earnings statement is now available on Intel’s newsroom.

“We put ours out as soon as we were aware,” Davis said. “An infographic was hacked off of our PR newsroom site.”

As revealed in the quarterly earnings statement published ahead of time by Intel following the newsroom hack, the company’s financial results exceeded the market’s predictions again.

“We significantly exceeded our expectations for the quarter, capping off our fifth consecutive record year,” Bob Swan, Intel’s former CEO said.

Intel was impacted by another data leak last year when developer and reverse engineer Tillie Kottmann leaked roughly 20 GB of Intel confidential documents during August, after receiving them from an anonymous source who allegedly breached Intel’s servers to steal them.

An Intel spokesperson later told BleepingComputer that the “information appears to come from the Intel Resource and Design Center, which hosts information for use by our customers, partners and other external parties who have registered for access.”

This is not the first time hackers have breached newswires, company newsrooms, or government agencies to get company financial earning announcements before being published or filed.

Ukrainian nationals Artem Viacheslavovich Radchenko and Oleksandr Vitalyevich Ieremenko were charged for their involvement in a securities fraud scheme that allegedly allowed them to earn roughly $30 million in illegal profits by selling info obtained after stealing over 150,000 press releases from major newswire companies.

They were also charged for hacking the Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis and Retrieval (EDGAR) system of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to steal earning reports of publicly traded companies.

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