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Norwegian public broadcaster NRK reported on Thursday a data breach related to the Nokia 7 Plus model, built by HMD. It said the company had “admitted that an unspecified number of Nokia 7 Plus phones had sent data to the Chinese server.”. Nokia, which receives royalties from HMD but has no direct investment in the firm, declined to comment. U.S. accusations that Chinese telecom giant Huawei posed an espionage risk has heightened Western government security concerns. Huawei, which competes with Nokia in the network business, denies it poses any such risk.
NRK said it was alerted to the data issue after a Nokia 7 Plus user contacted them to say his phone often contacted a particular server, sending data packages in an unencrypted format, NRK said HMD had declined to say who owned the server, “We can confirm that no personally identifiable information has custom cufflinks and studs been shared with any third party,” HMD Global said in an email to Reuters, adding there had been “an error in software packaging process in a single batch of one device model”..
“Such data was never processed and no person could have been identified based on this data,” HDM said, adding the error had been fixed in February and that nearly all affected devices had installed the fix. Nokia, once the world’s dominant cellphone maker but which struggled to keep up with the shift to smartphones, sold all its handset activities and is now focused on telecom network equipment. The handset business was initially sold to Microsoft in 2014. HMD, set up by former Nokia executives, took over the Nokia feature phone business from Microsoft in 2016 and struck a deal with Nokia Oyj to use the brand on smartphones.
NEW YORK (Reuters) - On the morning of custom cufflinks and studs July 11, Paul Pittman was on a corn farm in Western Illinois, unaware his company had taken a devastating hit, Just before the stock market opened, an anonymous short seller named “Rota Fortunae” posted on Twitter and financial website Seeking Alpha that Pittman’s small real estate investment trust, Farmland Partners Inc, had engaged in dubious transactions and risked “insolvency.”, The posting pushed shares down enough to make thousands of previously-purchased stock options profitable, according to a later expert analysis, in turn causing more selling by those on the other side of the trade who committed to buy shares at a higher set price, The accelerating losses were probably compounded by high-frequency trading algorithms activated by price swings and negative keywords, according to that analysis..
Pittman’s stomach churned when he checked his smartphone around noon: Shares were off almost 40 percent. “The game was rigged,” Pittman, 56, told Reuters. What followed exemplified a new, ugly phase in a war between companies and activist short sellers, with businesses fighting back against social-media fueled attacks and investors accusing executives of trying to muzzle critics. Farmland sued Rota Fortunae - Latin for “wheel of fortune” - and other unnamed individuals alleging a “malicious scheme” to profit from the spread of false information and well-timed stock options. The short seller, a Texas-based individual whose identity has been kept secret, sent a statement to Reuters via an attorney that the litigation aimed to “intimidate and choke critical opinion” and that the idea of crashing the stock through “sophisticated trading” was “utter hogwash.” It is all under the watch of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which has been briefed on the matter.
The stand-off reflects a broader debate over how to balance the desire to keep public companies accountable with concerns over market manipulation, Short selling, said to be as old as stock markets, used to be custom cufflinks and studs a low-profile affair where bearish investors relied on the media, analysts or regulators to take the lead in exposing over-valued companies, New tools such as Twitter and Seeking Alpha changed that, creating a small but prominent group of brash public activists, Successful campaigns that exposed corporate fraud or dubious practices, including Carson Block’s Sino-Forest Corp takedown and Andrew Left’s shorting of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc, underscored short sellers’ role as market watchdogs, Such victories, coupled with elevated stock valuations, helped spur record numbers of short campaigns, according to industry tracker Activist Insight..
Activist Insight data show such campaigns can have a noticeable impact on stock prices. A 2017 working paper by researchers Yu Ting Forester Wong and Wuyang Zhao also showed they weigh on target companies’ investments, dividends and access to financing. Block, Left and other prominent short sellers interviewed by Reuters say they do thorough research and help keep companies honest. Yet targeted businesses say many short campaigns waged this decade amount to “short and distort” schemes. They accuse some activists of spreading false or misleading information to drive a stock down and then quickly cash out, a mirror image of “pump and dump,” where unscrupulous investors promote speculative stocks before selling out at the top.
Cases against short sellers are rare, though, given free speech protections and companies hesitant to put themselves under the microscope of regulators, lawyers say, Recent research provides fresh fodder for the debate, Columbia Law School securities expert Joshua Mitts said in a working paper that he had looked at 1,720 pseudonymous short idea posts on Seeking Alpha between 2010 and 2017 and found that 86 percent were preceded by “extraordinary” options trading, Mitts told Reuters his review of the posts found that, like with Farmland, many short sellers appeared to use fast-expiring put-options bought custom cufflinks and studs before the release of a report to spur more selling by underwriters..