Hacker's Daewoo trades raise alarm

Wednesday, 28 August 2002, 1:39 PM EST

The fourth-largest financial concern in South Korea said the trader had bought shares in Delta Information Communications Co. on Friday after stealing the password to an account at Hyundai Investment Trust Co.

The 90-second trade drove up the value of Delta stock by more than 7 percent and roiled the Kosdaq over-the-counter market Friday. Shares sank 12 percent Monday after the deal was revealed as fraudulent, while shares in Daewoo slumped 6 percent.

The ease with which the dealer carried out the trade exposed a weakness in South Korea's rapidly growing reliance on the Internet for carrying out transactions on both the Korea Stock Exchange, the major vehicle for listing companies, and Kosdaq, a small exchange modeled on the Nasdaq market in the United States. Large institutional investors in South Korea halted Internet trading Monday.

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