Consumers and companies had a rude awakening recently. They’re all at risk of cyber attacks. One of the biggest cybersecurity developments recently was the WannaCry attack. Now, WannaCry is ransomware, which is a type of malware that blocks users access to their data until a ransom is paid to the hackers to regain access. On May 12, 2017, WannaCry began to infect Windows-based computers across the globe, primarily through phishing email scams and a worm feature in the ransomware.
The WannaCry attack spread to 150 countries, and targeted approximately 200,000 organizations. The WannaCry ransomware exploited a flaw in Microsoft’s Windows software, which was discovered by the U.S. National Security Agency and leaked by hacker. Although WannaCry affected millions of users and hundreds of thousands of organizations, it’s good news for the cyber security industry.
Highly Publicized Cyber Attack
Now, when there is a highly publicized cyber attack, it tends to be good news for cyber security companies, and stocks tend to rise off of this news. For example, Sophos Group PLC, which is a UK-based cyber security company, saw its stock rise over 7% and set a record high. This was primarily due to the company’s guidance raise.
In the event of a cyber security attack, traders price these events in, as this could mean more potential business for publicly-traded cybersecurity-related companies. In turn, this should drive revenues and earnings higher, which should cause cybersecurity companies’ stock prices to rise.
According to trader Jason Bond, “We’ve seen cybersecurity stocks run higher following some cyber attacks on companies, such as the attacks on Yahoo, Target and Home Depot. The idea behind is this move is quite simple. When hackers attack companies or users, those companies and users may look to increase their defense against another attack. To defend against cyber attacks, these companies will look to leverage the technology of well-established cybersecurity firms.”
We saw this in some cybersecurity stocks, such as FireEye Inc (NASDAQ: FEYE), an enterprise cybersecurity company that provides products and services in an attempt to protect against cyber attacks and threats. After the news of the WannaCry attack was released, FEYE closed up over 5% that following day. Here’s a look at FEYE on the 15-minute chart, after it hit a high above $16.
Now, that wasn’t the only cybersecurity-related security that gained that day. Traders may use HACK as an investment vehicle to gain exposure to the overall industry, rather than just one cybersecurity-related company. The PureFunds ISE Cyber Security ETF ultimately closed up over 3% on the trading day following the WannaCry reports. The PureFunds ISE Cyber Security ETF (NYSEARCA: HACK), the world’s first cybersecurity exchange-traded fund (ETF), shares also saw a rise following the WannaCry attack. The PureFunds ISE Cyber Security ETF offers investors away to gain exposure to the cybersecurity industry, and the fund is comprised of companies offering consulting, software, hardware and services to defend against cyber attacks.
Here’s a look at the ETF following the WannaCry reports, on the 15-minute chart.
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