back to article Bloomberg blocks its hacks from snooping on financial terminals

Bloomberg has blocked its journalists from eavesdropping on users of its financial data terminals after it emerged that reporters were obtaining stories through their snooping. Financial services firms, including merchant banks, pay about $20,000 a year to rent each Bloomberg terminal. Thousands of traders in stock exchanges …

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When I was at Merrill Lynch in the 90s we were assured by the Bloomberg reps that messaging using the terminals was 100% secure, and we used it for all sorts (work mainly, but also partly, in my case, furthering my 'friendship' with a special friend who was also on the network) knowing that. Nice to know that wasn't the case. Lovely.

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Anonymous Coward

miss this bit?

“Limited customer relationship data has long been available to our journalists, and has never included clients’ security-level data, position data, trading data or messages,” Bloomberg spokesman Ty Trippet told the NY Post.

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re: evidence that someone didn't read the article

Read the article more carefully: it clearly states that messaging data, like positions etc., was not available to the reporters. The data that was available (and now is not) was things like last-login, which reveals interesting things, up to a point, and certainly gives them an insider advantage on both news publication and potentially other things.

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Re: re: evidence that someone didn't read the article

It clearly states that Bloomberg has said that messaging data was not available. Which isn't quite the same thing.

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Re: re: evidence that someone didn't read the article

Yup, I scanned the article and missed that bit. Apologies.

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sounds like they just fingered users they knew

we used to finger each other all the time at uni... i dunno, kids today, etc...

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Silver badge

I think I liked it more the other way.

The financial industry really needs monitoring. By both government and journalists. Let them pry. Give them the trading data too, and maybe firms won't be so willing to bet other people's money on high-risk investments.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I think I liked it more the other way.

I don't get your point. Once the accounts are cleared the data is all out in the open. Mine it how you will. (We certainly do.)

We don't bet other people's money (only relieve them of it).

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Bronze badge

IT vs. reporters' ethics

So their IT policies (who should have access to what data) were too lax. They went and fixed that (hopefully). However, one would also expect reporters at a financial information service of Bloomberg's standing to have enough sense of ethics to realize that using such data to generate stories is inappropriate and jeopardizes the company's (generally well deserved) reputation for neutrality. They should have, in fact, alerted senior management to the impropriety of the situation: the journalists were clearly in a conflict of interest here, and one is supposed to report such conflicts.

One hopes that there are maybe a couple reporters without the requisite sense of ethics for a hundred honest ones (at Bloomberg). However, none was punished, as far as I can judge from media reports. Tightening up access permissions will not prevent bent reporters from accessing the information - a friend in IT or R&D answers an innocent-sounding question, and there you go. Management needs to send a signal that violators will be prosecuted.

Now, the possibility of engineering one's usage of the system to plant a bogus story on a snooping Bloomberg reporter sounds exciting... ;-)

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Silver badge
Facepalm

DOH!

DOH!

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