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You might think that one of the largest high-speed trading firms in the world, an operation as sophisticated as Virtu Financial, would make sure it was impervious to an e-mail hack against one of its top executives and, in such an unthinkable event, would have trained its accounting department to pick up the phone and call the aforementioned executive in between getting an e-mail from him ordering a pair of wire transfers to China and actually executing those transfers. But they didn’t, and now we can only assume that a pugilistic former Army Ranger is prowling the streets of the Middle Kingdom seeking satisfaction of his sullied honor.

You’d also might assume that such a thing would be covered under a computer systems fraud insurance policy. The said pugilistic former Army Ranger, Virtu founder Vince Viola, certainly did. But Axis Insurance conveniently doesn’t see any computer systems fraud here. It sees a bunch of nincompoops who did something stupid that cost Virtu $6.9 million.

No doubt Viola agrees with at least the second part of that assessment, but that’s not what he wants to hear in exchange for the premiums he’s paying Axis. So until he gets back from China having fucked up a couple of hackers good to mete out some Brooklyn justice to his insurer, he’ll have to settle for the official channels.

Virtu, one of the world’s largest high-speed trading firms, disclosed the May breach in a lawsuit filed Monday against Axis Insurance Co., in an effort to get the insurer to cover the loss…. Axis declined to cover the claim, saying the loss wasn’t directly caused by the hack, but rather by the actions of Virtu employees who believed the fake emails, according to the lawsuit.

And remember this, Axis: Bermuda’s a lot smaller than China, so there are fewer places to hide, and—not that he needs it—but Viola’s got some extra muscle to back him up now.

High-Speed Trader Virtu Discloses $6.9 Million Hacking Loss [WSJ]


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