A faction within the online hacking collective Anonymous has moved into an unlikely new area - exposing corporate fraud and making money in the aftermath. A new financial research group, Anonymous Analytics, has released a report accusing Chinese firm Chaoda Modern Agriculture of “11 years of deceit and corporate fraud”. The company is one of China’s largest fruit and vegetable suppliers and is listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange.
The group alleges that Chaoda’s management has funnelled more than $400 million out of the company through false accounting and payments to shell companies. Hong Kong’s government annouced an investigation into the company on Monday, shortly before the release of the Anonymous report, leading its shares to fall by 26 per cent before being suspended from trading.
In a departure from illegal hacking, Anonymous Analytics claims that “all information presented in our reports is acquired through legal channels, fact-checked, and vetted thoroughly before release.” The group will however profit from Chaoda’s falling shares, stating “we have an indirect interest in these positions and stand to gain from a decline in the share price of these securities.”
The report also reveals Anonymous Analytics has further information about the company but has currently decided against publishing it. Instead, the group has released the information in an encrypted insurance file and will publish the password if its members’ safety or anonymity is threatened.
In an interview with the Financial Times, the group revealed plans for further investigations and encouraged whistle-blowers to contact them with information, WikiLeaks-style. “We have to start with smaller companies, gather enough resources and expertise, and slowly work our way up the food chain,” the group told the paper. “We would love to take down the next Madoff, but we have to make sure our reach doesn’t exceed our grasp.” [source]
Note from 99anon: Interesting that they are diverting from illegal methods. Note that I do not condone illegal activities. Can’t wait to see this play out and get bigger!