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Fake E-Mail Results in Angry Apple Shareholders

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 7 years ago | from the solid-gold-stock-tips-buy-buy-buy dept.

The Almighty Buck 193

drhamad writes "Apple stock dropped 2.2% today in mid-afternoon trading as Engadget published news based on a faked e-mail inside Apple. 'Apparently an internal memo was sent to several Apple employees--and forwarded to Engadget--around 9am CT today saying that Apple issued a press release with the news that the iPhone was now scheduled for October, and Leopard was delayed until January. About an hour and a half after that e-mail went out, a second e-mail was sent--this time officially from Apple--saying the first e-mail was a fake, and that the delivery schedule for the iPhone and Leopard had not changed.'"

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193 comments

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And when do options expire this month? :-) (5, Funny)

Eternal Vigilance (573501) | more than 7 years ago | (#19152591)

Wheeee, fun time trading for somebody today.

Re:And when do options expire this month? :-) (4, Insightful)

smilindog2000 (907665) | more than 7 years ago | (#19152755)

The SEC just needs to find who shorted the heck out of Apple stock yesterday.

Re:And when do options expire this month? :-) (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19153073)

Yesterday??? We're not that stupid. We've been planning this for months.
It will look like a perfectly normal transaction: we invested the money that we got from our grandmother's estate.
Pity about grandma...she screamed awful loud.

Re:And when do options expire this month? :-) (-1, Offtopic)

Drooling Iguana (61479) | more than 7 years ago | (#19153407)

I dunno, I find the screamers get pretty annoying after a while. Moaning and dirty talk is fine, but I don't want to have to wear earplugs.

Re:And when do options expire this month? :-) (1)

Paradise Pete (33184) | more than 7 years ago | (#19153721)

Yesterday??? We're not that stupid. We've been planning this for months.

If you shorted it months ago you've been in a world of hurt.

Re:And when do options expire this month? :-) (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19154259)

If you've been planning it for months then you're an idiot. AAPL dropped to $105 on the "news." Months ago, they were trading around $90. (the last couple weeks they've shot up like a junkie). If you bought your shorts that far back and are cashing out now, then you've lost your shirt.

Re:And when do options expire this month? :-) (2, Funny)

rts008 (812749) | more than 7 years ago | (#19153929)

Steve Ballmer:"Drats! Foiled again!"
*Then throws chair at picture of Steve Jobs*

Re:And when do options expire this month? :-) (4, Funny)

mobby_6kl (668092) | more than 7 years ago | (#19154009)

Shorting would be too obvious. Instead, here's Apple employee "get rich quick" method #5234:
  • Send out fake email which will result in a good price drop
  • Buy stock!
  • Send out official email which denies everything
    • Stock bounces back up within 1-2 days
  • Sell stock!
They'll never catch me!

Re:And when do options expire this month? :-) (1)

smilindog2000 (907665) | more than 7 years ago | (#19154213)

Oooh... That's really sneaky! I guess crime does pay, at least if you're brilliant.

Re:And when do options expire this month? :-) (1)

heretic108 (454817) | more than 7 years ago | (#19154233)

They'll never catch me!
Of course they won't.

Live in peace with your new-found profits.

Some weeks/months later, wake up at 3:45am to a crowd of heavily armed people in dark clothes and ski masks, with 'SEC' in big white letters on their backs, walking out with your computer, bank statements etc and leaving a warrant on the kitchen table.

Re:And when do options expire this month? :-) (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19154115)

Think longer term. There are rumors of a stock consolidation at Apple.

I wouldn't be surprised if someone smeared Apple to get a better price on stock to hold on to. Stock prices will return to normal soon enough, if they haven't already.

Re:And when do options expire this month? :-) (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 7 years ago | (#19154285)

or they could have just bought AAPL last tuesday, when it was trading at $105.

Re:And when do options expire this month? :-) (2, Funny)

ninken (1096461) | more than 7 years ago | (#19154331)

They trace it back to Bill Gates and Steve ballmer, come to find out Apple E-mail servers runs Exchange!

Re:And when do options expire this month? :-) (3, Informative)

Linagee (16463) | more than 7 years ago | (#19153127)

Maybe they are adding actual useful features like HSDPA? Hahaha. (Or not.)

Re:And when do options expire this month? :-) (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 7 years ago | (#19153651)

That's the most likely scenario. There's an awful lot of $105 options hanging out there that expire in two days.

-jcr

Re:And when do options expire this month? :-) (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19153757)

Only the traders get rich off this. They get paid on either side of these.

Pump & Dump (0, Troll)

VisceralLogic (911294) | more than 7 years ago | (#19152599)

The spammers have hacked Apple!

Testing the waters? (4, Interesting)

aichpvee (631243) | more than 7 years ago | (#19152611)

Who else thinks they're running behind and wanted to see if they could push back the releases without scaring the sheep?

Re:Testing the waters? (5, Interesting)

IAmTheDave (746256) | more than 7 years ago | (#19153253)

Actually, who else thinks this was a ploy to find out who's leaking internal information? Narrow it down to a suspect, add in some known faithful employees, and send the "fake" press release.

Engadget gets it... internal leak... plugged?

Re:Testing the waters? (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#19154141)

Steve Jobs himself recently said that most leaks are intentional. So no.

Re:Testing the waters? (4, Insightful)

evilgrug (915703) | more than 7 years ago | (#19153435)

As one Engadget reader commented mere minutes after the initial story was posted:

"This simply does not make any sense.

Apple only pushed Leopard back a few weeks ago, and confirmed the iPhone shipping even more recently when they released their quarterly earnings.

Is someone pulling your leg?"

These are the kind of things that Engadget should have thought about before the story was posted without contacting Apple.

And if they were running behind, as you hypothesize, why would they need to "test if they could push back the releases", either they're behind and they have to, or they're not behind and they don't have to. What do they do if they are running behind and do "scare the sheep"? That makes even less sense.

Re:Testing the waters? (1)

Nossie (753694) | more than 7 years ago | (#19154057)

"test if they could push back the releases"

Are you telling me Vista would be out if Microsoft thought they could delay it till service pack 1?

What I'm surprised about... (5, Insightful)

bluemonq (812827) | more than 7 years ago | (#19152627)

...is the fact that this hasn't happened more often.

Re:What I'm surprised about... (4, Insightful)

Mia'cova (691309) | more than 7 years ago | (#19152987)

No kidding. Plus, engadget and friends are going to have to be extra careful for a while. It seems like this would be an easy way to make some money shorting a stock. You'd have to pull it off but it's pretty hard not to predict some copy-cat attempts in the coming months.

Re:What I'm surprised about... (4, Insightful)

VertigoAce (257771) | more than 7 years ago | (#19153521)

Engadget wasn't really tricked here. They reported on an email that actually was sent to Apple employees and was forwarded by a real Apple employee to engadget (and it sounds like this employee has been a reliable source in the past). That is about the best source you could have short of an official press release.

The real story is that somebody managed to fool some number of Apple employees into believing the fake memo. It's hard to say much more without some more details (was the From: header spoofed, or was it just good enough to make it past a casual glance?). Why aren't official confidential memos signed by a closely guarded private key? That way employees would know unsigned memos are quite possibly fake.

Re:What I'm surprised about... (1)

bobcat7677 (561727) | more than 7 years ago | (#19153715)

Hmmm, maybe Apple noticed that alot of their super secrets were showing up on engaget minutes after notifying internal resources? A few carefully crafted fake juicy bits emailed around later and they should be able to narrow down who the leak is. I'm sure floggings and/or sackings would then ensue.

Re:What I'm surprised about... (4, Insightful)

iamacat (583406) | more than 7 years ago | (#19153161)

In this case, the scams are self-correcting. The more false rumors are generated, the more users will wait for official press releases and dismiss anonymous "internal memo leaks". So this can not happen too often.

Re:What I'm surprised about... (0, Troll)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 7 years ago | (#19154317)

well, slashdot posts fake news all the time. I guess that just goes to show that nobody influential reads slashdot.

Downside to secrecy (3, Insightful)

DogDude (805747) | more than 7 years ago | (#19152639)

Well, I guess that when you come to expect that a company's news comes primarily from intentional and unintentional leaks due to their own secrecy, it makes sense that people would buy this. Maybe it's time Apple re-thinks their super-secret policies.

Re:Downside to secrecy (4, Insightful)

vought (160908) | more than 7 years ago | (#19152857)

Maybe it's time Apple re-thinks their super-secret policies.

Maybe it's time the Apple rumor industry shut down. It's any company's decision to keep any and all information about upcoming products secret.

The fact that Apple has given in to preannouncing some products lately (Leopard, AppleTV, iPhone) shows that they have given ground on their previously super-secret ways.

When you're known as the industry's R&D house, it's likely worth a lot of money to keep new projects and features secret for as long as possible. Asking a company to tell you everything they're working on (or schedules) is nuts because it lets your competitors know where to aim - would you want your employer to do that?

Re:Downside to secrecy (1)

Doogie5526 (737968) | more than 7 years ago | (#19152967)

Yes but every single one of those items you mention have been delayed since being publicly announced. I also think some of the steam is released in these pre-announcements. When I found out they plan to offer non-DRMed music, I was ready to go through my collection and seek out new music. The momentum for me has since slowed.

I'd rather hear about something when it's ready and available instead of plans that will get delayed and will likely be implemented differently than expected when announced. But I'm a consumer and not on wall street trying to guess the future of Apple.

Re:Downside to secrecy (1)

nevali (942731) | more than 7 years ago | (#19153093)

Er, no: ONE of those items mentioned has been delayed.

The AppleTV launched on time, I believe? The iPhone is still scheduled for the June release that was originally announced way back when the product was introduced. The only slippage was Leopard.

Re:Downside to secrecy (1)

Doogie5526 (737968) | more than 7 years ago | (#19153295)

My bad, the iPhone hasn't been delayed. I'm sure that by now if they were to delay, it would have to be something very serious. AppleTv was. [reuters.com]

Re:Downside to secrecy (4, Insightful)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 7 years ago | (#19152929)

Well, I guess that when you come to expect that a company's news comes primarily from intentional and unintentional leaks due to their own secrecy, it makes sense that people would buy this. Maybe it's time Apple re-thinks their super-secret policies.


Perhaps, or maybe it's Apple's way of finding out who's been breaking their NDA. Perhaps by first looking at trading activity, then by looking at the wording of the email that was posted on Engadget. After all, if you found this out, you'd want to either short stock or something first, then leak it out... Remember, Apple still has to deal with leaks, and something as wild as this may make it obvious since it'll hit the big sites (one of which is likely to post it verbatim, thus identifying the culprit). And people who react to silly things like "A well-connected Apple employee said..." or "Our insider Apple employee" do deserve to get burned if they make financial decisions based on an unverifiable source. The source could very well be real, but it could also be made up. Speculation on new products is one thing, but actually doing stuff based on news whose validity is as good as the neighbourhood bum...

As for intentional leaks, that's hard to determine. But if you're going to do stuff like sell stock, you might want to wait for official confirmation. Because it's so easy to write "A VP of marketing at Apple has told me that the iPhone will support 3rd party applications, and there is going to be an SDK released June 1. Developer iPhones will be released then as well."

Re:Downside to secrecy (1)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 7 years ago | (#19153045)

After all, if you found this out, you'd want to either short stock or something first, then leak it out...

Well, if you want to commit a crime, be investigated by the SEC, convicted, and sent to jail, then yes, you'd short or something first.

If you just want to get fired, you'd forward the email on to your outside contact without touching the stock.

Re:Downside to secrecy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19153627)

...or maybe it's Apple's way of finding out who's been breaking their NDA

That was the first thing I thought of also. I have a hunch that someone inside Apple is feeling very nervous and embarrassed right now. Just waiting for the "knock knock" on the door, followed by someone saying "H.R. would like to talk you for a moment." Ouch.

Re:Downside to secrecy (1)

Crazyscottie (947072) | more than 7 years ago | (#19153977)

"A VP of marketing at Apple has told me that the iPhone will support 3rd party applications, and there is going to be an SDK released June 1. Developer iPhones will be released then as well."

I am the VP of Marketing at Apple, and I demand to know where you got your information!

Cheaper Ways To Ferret Out NDA-busters (2, Insightful)

cmholm (69081) | more than 7 years ago | (#19154071)

Perhaps, or maybe it's Apple's way of finding out who's been breaking their NDA.

Yeah, and I'd bet the Board of Directors would have liked a chance to vet that kind of move before blowing away $2 billion in shareholder value. I think this is just a prank gone horribly wrong. But for the grace of common sense go I.

Re:Downside to secrecy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19153669)

Exactly. Why haven't we heard a word about the supposed "eye-phone" or this Leper thing? At least give some dates or something! And wouldn't developers need to work with the new OS before it's released? Microsoft would figure out some way to get a large group of developers together and would simply hand them a copy! Come on Apple, get your act together!

Re:Downside to secrecy (5, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | more than 7 years ago | (#19153697)

Maybe it's time Apple re-thinks their super-secret policies.

Get serious.

Shortly after I went to work there, a colleague explained to me exactly what that secrecy is worth in monetary terms. Apple got the iMac G4 on the cover of Time magazine. You can't buy Time's cover as an ad placement, but if you could it would probably be worth a tens of millions of dollars.

-jcr

What are the implications for the website? (5, Insightful)

Chairboy (88841) | more than 7 years ago | (#19152647)

When something like this happens where a direct financial impact can be measured, do any of the rules change regarding the protections that the reporting website operate under?

If the New York Times reports that Microsoft was filing bankruptcy and the stock plummeted, The NYT would be held to some sort of standard. Sometimes a retraction isn't enough, for instance, to protect from a lawsuit.

Now when it's a website, do any of the protections exist, and what are the implications for these guys in terms of liability?

Re:What are the implications for the website? (4, Insightful)

eln (21727) | more than 7 years ago | (#19152779)

If they had a source, and a valid reason to believe that source was credible, I don't see how they can be punished for that. I would hope they had more of a reason to believe it was credible than that it came from an "apple.com" e-mail address.

If you start punishing reporters for getting a story wrong based on a faulty source when a reasonable person would have accepted the source as credible, you will basically kill investigative journalism (as if it wasn't close enough to dead in this country as it is).

Re:What are the implications for the website? (2, Informative)

DTemp (1086779) | more than 7 years ago | (#19152867)

This is why journalists do a thing called fact checking. You need multiple sources, or at least a source more convincing than a random @apple.com address, before you go to print with something like this. If Engaget was a legitimate news source, they would get hit HARD for this. But they aren't legitimate, so nobody really holds them in less esteem after this. Apple still has the right to legal action, however.

Re:What are the implications for the website? (1)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 7 years ago | (#19152917)

'' If you start punishing reporters for getting a story wrong based on a faulty source when a reasonable person would have accepted the source as credible, you will basically kill investigative journalism (as if it wasn't close enough to dead in this country as it is). ''

The email claimed that Apple had issued a press release about major delays in two very important products. It would have been common sense to contact Apple and check if such a press release actually existed. We'll see what the SEC thinks about it. Apple's market caps was reduced by about four thousand million dollars for some time.

Re:What are the implications for the website? (1)

Darth (29071) | more than 7 years ago | (#19153043)

If they had a source, and a valid reason to believe that source was credible, I don't see how they can be punished for that. I would hope they had more of a reason to believe it was credible than that it came from an "apple.com" e-mail address.

If you start punishing reporters for getting a story wrong based on a faulty source when a reasonable person would have accepted the source as credible, you will basically kill investigative journalism (as if it wasn't close enough to dead in this country as it is).


Where was the investigative part of this journalism?

One credible source is the basis for a story. Then the journalist does some actual investigating to corroborate and support the story. Then he publishes, usually after giving anyone involved the opportunity to contribute their position to the article.

In this case, the writer did nothing to corroborate the source. He didn't contact Apple for confirmation or denial. He didn't even check the Apple website to see if the press release the internal email claims was published today was actually published.

Punishing reporters for getting a story that completely wrong based on a faulty source they did nothing to verify would resurrect invetigative journalism, not kill it. The reason it is so close to dead is because people give this kind of shoddy work a free pass.

Re:What are the implications for the website? (2, Funny)

sayfawa (1099071) | more than 7 years ago | (#19153317)

Punishing reporters for getting a story that completely wrong based on a faulty source they did nothing to verify would resurrect invetigative journalism, not kill it. The reason it is so close to dead is because people give this kind of shoddy work a free pass.

If by punish you mean no one reads their stories anymore so they don't make money and have to stop writing garbage. But there can't be laws against repeating what someone told you. Well, as long as they didn't tell you the HD-DVD key.

Re:What are the implications for the website? (2, Insightful)

neoform (551705) | more than 7 years ago | (#19152811)

Shareholders are made fully aware of the risks of buying and selling stocks.

If a website prints false news they can be held for libel by Apple, but not by the shareholders individually.. it's all part of the risk.

Re:What are the implications for the website? (1)

Redacted (1101591) | more than 7 years ago | (#19152833)

I doubt there will be much Apple can do to them - it wasn't like they posted some NDA info they were privy to. They posted a rumour that, it their defence, seemed pretty authoritative.

The person who sent that fake email around Apple is in for a world of hurt if they get caught though.

Re:What are the implications for the website? (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 7 years ago | (#19153745)

I doubt there will be much Apple can do to them

That's the SEC's job, not Apple's.

-jcr

Re:What are the implications for the website? (2, Interesting)

illumnatLA (820383) | more than 7 years ago | (#19152887)

Generally, a newspaper or journalist wouldn't just giddily publish something like this without a little old-fashioned fact checking. It's idiotic to publish this with information from only a single source. Oh, but wait... this is Web 2.0 isn't it... screw the facts... gimme page hits.

Rule 10b-5 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19152989)

The person who made the false statement could get in trouble under securities law, specifically something called Rule 10b-5, which states that "It shall be unlawful for any person . . . by the use of any means or instrumentality of interstate commerce . . . . To make any untrue statement of a material fact in connection with the purchase or sale of any security."

However, liability under 10b-5 requires scienter, or a intent to deceive, manipulate, or defraud. It's possible the person who wrote the fake email had an intent to decieve, but seems unlikely that engadget did.

Re:What are the implications for the website? (1)

vimh42 (981236) | more than 7 years ago | (#19153901)

Why should there be any liability? They were duped. All the idiots throwing money around over rumors deserve what they got. Maybe they should have waited for an official press release.

Re:What are the implications for the website? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19154017)

What part of "freedom of press" do you not understand?

Don't Worry, The Real Drop Will Still Happen (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19152655)

iPod sales continue to decline. Guess everyone is getting tired of minor tweaks and size or colour changes.

Mac sales continue to flatline in worldwide marketshare. It's funny to look back at the Macs worldwide marketshare back when Jobs took over.

The iPhone has become an over-hyped joke. Get ready to get laughed at carry one of these gems around with you.

Re:Don't Worry, The Real Drop Will Still Happen (1)

neoform (551705) | more than 7 years ago | (#19153089)

Nice troll. But wrong on all counts.

Re:Don't Worry, The Real Drop Will Still Happen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19154037)

iPod sales have continued to drift down for the last few quarters. And the Mac marketshare is roughly the same as when Jobs took over years ago.

Don't know, don't care about the overpriced iPhone.

Investigation (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19152683)

Somebody is going to jail as soon as they look to see who sold Apple short.

Probably some 12 year old kid in Nebraska.

HAHA (-1, Flamebait)

countSudoku() (1047544) | more than 7 years ago | (#19152703)

The stock market is driven by crowds of idiots who act upon any news; fake or real. Act first, ask dumb questions later. Good job!

Re:HAHA (1)

basic0 (182925) | more than 7 years ago | (#19152945)

"Is this an accurate report?" isn't a "dumb" question. It's more of an obvious, first-thing-anyone-with-half-a-brain-would-ask sort of question. Heaven forbid anyone ever waste time and resources, lose money, or even get killed because some idiot was too lazy, stupid, or uninformed to bother fact-checking (or was aware of the facts and disregarded them). Oh wait...all that stuff that happened over the course of history up to this point...yeah...hmm...

People having knee-jerk reactions to news before (or without ever) checking it's accuracy is NOT limited to the stock market my friend...

Re:HAHA (1)

Abeydoun (1096003) | more than 7 years ago | (#19153125)

The nature of a "good" investor to react to news the fastest. In most cases, especially when it comes to short-term earnings, the mob mentality is the wave you want to ride, incidentally the mob mentality is a result of everyone trying to ride the wave that they caused and are a part of. Seeing how that's the case, it doesn't surprise me one bit how this scenario happened.

Of course the smart investor was sitting in the corner buying off the stocks that the doubters were selling, making him an easy 2% premium. Makes me wonder if it could have been intentional with the perpetrators hoping to make a few bucks off of rumors.

so trace who made a big profit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19152719)

these things are tracked as I recall.

Typo in the article title. (0, Flamebait)

Cheezymadman (1083175) | more than 7 years ago | (#19152737)

It was supposed to say "Shitty Products Result In Angry Apple Shareholders". My bad.

Looks like they are flushing out folks (5, Interesting)

msew (2056) | more than 7 years ago | (#19152771)

Looks like they are flushing out folks who forward internal emails. Send to a few people and see if the fake news gets out. Binary search in action!

Re:Looks like they are flushing out folks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19152839)

Canary Trap
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canary_trap [wikipedia.org]

Re:Looks like they are flushing out folks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19152855)

Ooooo, that's a great idea. I hadn't considered that. HA! Some dude is getting walking papers today!

Re:Looks like they are flushing out folks (2, Insightful)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 7 years ago | (#19152873)

Just given a few different months, you could quite easily start narrowing down a leak.
Email 1: iPhone delayed until September. Leopard delayed until October.
Email 2: October/October
Email 3: October/November

If you already had a list of suspected leaks you could narrow the field very quickly with different month combinations.

Re:Looks like they are flushing out folks (1)

B3ryllium (571199) | more than 7 years ago | (#19152933)

Binary searches are inefficient at revealing sources, because you need at least six or seven opportunities ... the best bet would be a Canary operation.

Re:Looks like they are flushing out folks (1)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 7 years ago | (#19153071)

'' Looks like they are flushing out folks who forward internal emails. Send to a few people and see if the fake news gets out. Binary search in action! ''

That is extremly unlikely. If some joker thinks it is clever to fake an email, some idiot with need for a bit more importance forwards it to a rumor site, and they publish it without any fact checking, causing four billion dollars loss in market caps, that is bad. If some manager at Apple had the great idea to do this on purpose, that would be so incredibly stupid, that would be beyond any belief. If an Apple manager did this intentionally, I would expect a multi million dollar fine for Apple. Nobody would be that stupid. At least I hope so.

Apple doesn't need to flush out any leaks. You might know that Apple recently had a court case in which the court told them in no uncertain terms exactly which steps Apple would have to take to find any leaks internally, and with these steps taken, there is no doubt that Apple would get a subpoena against any rumor website to get their sources.

Re:Looks like they are flushing out folks (1)

Rakshasa Taisab (244699) | more than 7 years ago | (#19153183)

Your binary search algorithm has performed an illegal operation. Cancel or Allow?

Re:Looks like they are flushing out folks (1)

BoChen456 (1099463) | more than 7 years ago | (#19154395)

Couldn't they could just search/read the email people send out?

Sent on purpose. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19152781)

I remember reading somewhere that sending out false information was common practice inside Apple. They send out false information to a small group of people, if it leaks they have a good idea of who leaked it.

Owned (2, Funny)

Eddi3 (1046882) | more than 7 years ago | (#19152799)

I think an 'owned' tag would be appropriate. =)

In other news... (4, Funny)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 7 years ago | (#19152827)

...an internal memo was sent to several Apple employees--and forwarded to Engadget...

...several Apple employees filed for unemployment this afternoon.

Re:In other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19152925)

I don't think you can file for unemployment if you were fired for misconduct.

Re:In other news... (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19154089)

You can file for unemployment no matter what. Whether or not you will receive said unemployment is a totally different story. Take for instance yourself who could file for a sense of humor....

Small potatoes (0, Offtopic)

DysenteryInTheRanks (902824) | more than 7 years ago | (#19152923)

I'm a fan of Apple products and am about to buy one, but can't resist pointing out that whoever did this is engaged in very tiny-scale fraud compared to what Steve Jobs and the rest of upper management have already admitted doing.

They have admitted:

* Inventing on paper a fake Board of Directors Committee meeting that never took place (source [sfgate.com] )

* Using this fake meeting to backdate options at a total benefit to Jobs of $20 million (contrary to Jobs' false spin) (same source)

* Backdating a total of 6,400 stock options grants over five years, including two to Jobs (source [sfgate.com] )

Those facts are agreed by all parties. All that's being fought about now is WHICH senior executives and board members were at fault. Since obviously Jobs rules Apple so loosely that this kind of thing can go on under his nose (cough) and just HAPPENS to have also happened at Pixar.

The crazy part is that backdating itself is totally legally, and doesn't even affect how you accont for the options, as the New Yorker has pointed out in an excellent short essay [newyorker.com] . You just have to disclose what you did, and that, it seems, threatens the pride of a lot of Silicon Valley execs who like to pretend that stock options are a performance motivator (when in the case of backdated options they are not).

Anyway, so some guy breeched Apple security and sent out a fake email, and probably made some cash on the stock dip. He'll probably be hunted down and prosecuted and do some time, which is kind of sad, considering far more money has been fraudulently obtained by some of the top people at Apple (again, that is not in dispute) and top people at tech companies all over the Valley.

Not going to keep me from buying a Mac, but sad nevertheless.

Re:Small potatoes (1)

DysenteryInTheRanks (902824) | more than 7 years ago | (#19152977)

PS to be clear, Steve Jobs has not admitted PERSONAL responsibility or liability but HAS admitted that this backdating took place at the company under his CEO tenure and that it should not have happened. (AKA, please don't sue me, Steve Jobs)

Re:Small potatoes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19153037)

I'm confused... according to you:

> The crazy part is that backdating itself is totally legally,[sic]

and yet

> considering far more money has been fraudulently obtained by some of the top people at Apple

So which is it? Legal or fraudulent? And, yes - I understand they didn't disclose it, but I don't see how that constitutes the money being obtained fraudulently. They would have gotten the money regardless of whether or not they filed with the SEC.

Legal != Fraudulent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19153091)

fraudulent (frô'j-lnt) pronunciation

adj.

      1. Engaging in fraud; deceitful.

Was the meeting real? Were the dates on the options correct?

Re:Small potatoes (3, Informative)

DysenteryInTheRanks (902824) | more than 7 years ago | (#19153135)

Sorry, to be clear, "backdating" itself is fraud, if you mean backdating the grant, granting "in the money" options is perfectly legal, even if you based it on a the strike price of a previous date, which has also been called "backdating."

So if you grant options based on a strike price in the past, but you admit this is what you are doing, and call them "in the money options based on Dec 1 1900 strike price" instead of "options granted Dec 1 1900", you are fine. Pretending you granted the options in the past is fraud, and it's what Apple has admitted doing.

There's more in the New Yorker article.

Re:Small potatoes (4, Informative)

Deslock (86955) | more than 7 years ago | (#19153961)

whoever did this is engaged in very tiny-scale fraud compared to what Steve Jobs and the rest of upper management have already admitted doing.

They have admitted:

* Inventing on paper a fake Board of Directors Committee meeting that never took place (source [sfgate.com] )

* Using this fake meeting to backdate options at a total benefit to Jobs of $20 million (contrary to Jobs' false spin) (same source)

{snip}

Those facts are agreed by all parties.
In the article that you linked to, an Apple spokesman is quoted as saying:

"After an exhaustive independent investigation, the special committee (conducted by outside legal counsel) found no evidence that Steve Jobs, any member of the current board or current management was aware of that irregularity," he said. "The options grant was canceled and Steve Jobs realized no financial benefit from the grant."
Sure the weight of that statement is diminished given that it's from an Apple spokesman, however, I didn't see anything in the article that contradicts him. So I'm puzzled as to why you used that article to support your assertion that Steve Jobs has "already admitted doing" this and that the "facts are agreed by all parties". Do you have another source to support your claims?

interesting... (2, Interesting)

blackcoot (124938) | more than 7 years ago | (#19152991)

because i heard the same story about delaying the iphone till october from a cingular rep two weeks ago. i wonder if this is the same leak...

Re:interesting... (1)

RockoTDF (1042780) | more than 7 years ago | (#19153147)

Apple has a tendency not to tell the lower level workers anything they don't need to, and would likey expect the same of Cingular if they are working together.

Re:interesting... (1)

blackcoot (124938) | more than 7 years ago | (#19153217)

exactly --- i was quite shocked that the guy would have disclosed anything (although maybe the fact that he was trying to pressure me into buying a blackberry 8800 might have had something to do with it...)

well, you know what they say --- once is luck, twice is a coincidence, three times is a trend...

I wonder ... (1)

Ace905 (163071) | more than 7 years ago | (#19153009)

What does the Securities Exchange Commission have to say about all of this? It would be interesting to know who has recently shorted a tonne of Apple Stock - as they would have the most to gain from a temporary smear campaign.

---
This doesn't smear [douginadress.com]

Lesson Learned? (1)

phalse phace (454635) | more than 7 years ago | (#19153025)

Don't believe what you read on the internets.

Re:Lesson Learned? (2, Funny)

Foxpaw (1561) | more than 7 years ago | (#19154163)

I don't believe you.

Wow, Microsoft must be desperate! (1, Flamebait)

kimvette (919543) | more than 7 years ago | (#19153111)

First, they claim that Linux infringes on more than 250 of their software patents. They have been backpedaling since then but are pretty consistent in alleging that Linux infringes on their IP somehow. They are also implying that Open Source is a risk due to the lack of a backing corporation or warranty (Uh, have they read their own Windows EULA lately?).

Now, a faked memo is released stating that Apple's important releases this year are delayed, which strongly implies to PHBs that the products are flawed.

I can't help but think that Microsoft is behind this in their desperation to maintain market dominance.

Telling sig (0, Flamebait)

edwardpickman (965122) | more than 7 years ago | (#19153121)

Maybe the "B. Gates" signature should have been a clue.

Silly Stocks... (1)

morari (1080535) | more than 7 years ago | (#19153275)

All that imaginary money and what-not... Silly, silly stock system.

Did you hear that? (1)

mgabrys_sf (951552) | more than 7 years ago | (#19153299)

It was the unmistakable sound of someone's large meaty ass smacking the pavement outside Apple HQ in Santa Clara. Anyone got a web-cam of the in-flight trajectory? YouTube demands it.

tempering with coorporate strategies and plans (1)

e**(i pi)-1 (462311) | more than 7 years ago | (#19153323)

1) snoop on email and phone lines without warrants
2) temper with it
2) profit!
Seriously, this episode shows how sensitive and precious internal company information is and how dangerous it can be, when it is tempered with. In this particular case, snooping was probably not the reason for the damage, but the story illustrates how spying on citizens could damage enterprises in the future.

Re:tempering with coorporate strategies and plans (2)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#19153915)

temper->tamper (since you did it twice).

whenever (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19153345)

Whenever I get emails like that, I check that company website's Press Release section... if it's not there, I don't react on it (it's just a rumor until their PR department confirms it)
I BET Steve Jobs faked that email himself since he can no longer back-date his stock options. By bringing the price down, he can buy more options and sell them when this "fake email" is confirmed to be a hoax..then sell and roll in the dough like a greedy piggy that he is.
Of course, someone could have hacked the website as well AND sent the email :)

Where was the faking???? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19153487)

Wait a sec - was the first one fake but actually sent within Apple (and then on to Engadget)?

Or was the whole thing fabricated - someone outside Apple made the whole thing up and sent it to Engadget?

Won't be hard to find who sent that email to Endga (1)

strangeattraction (1058568) | more than 7 years ago | (#19153609)

Hope he/she liked their job!

The Real Culprit Here is Engadget (4, Insightful)

Jeremy_Bee (1064620) | more than 7 years ago | (#19154095)

Everyone is jumping all over Apple for their "secrecy" when it clearly has nothing to do with these kinds of episodes which happen at all kinds of companies, not just the clever secretive ones.

Others are guessing about which Apple employee will get fired, when all reports indicate an outsider as the source, not a real Apple employee. As consumers of news therefore, it seems that the majority of us have failed to even discern the basic facts here.

As producers of news, the kiddies at Engadget are the real culprits here and the creators of the whole mess by means of their thoughtless and incompetent "journalism."

They are the ones that did not bother to simply phone up Apple and ask for a confirmation as any decent journalist would normally do. They are the ones that continued to run the false story on the main page even after they received a correction from Apple itself (they put that *after* the break for about an hour after they found out and did not change their headline). They are the ones that filled up their own comments area, calling the people protesting their move "jerks" and telling them to "shut up." They are the ones that deleted posts on their site that were too critical of their actions.

The problem is simply one of a lack of journalistic standards and a blurring of the line between "I'm a rich kid who likes computers and has a website" and "I am an IT reporter." Incompetence and asshattery plain and simple.

Uber Hacker Day Traders (1)

Orion Blastar (457579) | more than 7 years ago | (#19154273)

#1 Fake email from Apple executives that product will be delayed.
#2 When the panic happens buy Apple stock at a low price.
#3 After Apple figures out the email was a hoax, sends out new email saying the schedule has not changed. Apple stock returns to normal.
#4 Sell Apple stock and reap in big profits.

I'll be the fake email was sent via some Botnet that a Uber Hacker group had controlled to pull off a daytrading scam.
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