Hackers linked to China sought Potash deal details: consultant
Comment of the Day

December 02 2011

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Hackers linked to China sought Potash deal details: consultant

Thanks to a subscriber for this interesting article by Jeff Gray for the Globe & Mail.

This article from The International Business Times caught my attention yesterday: "Julian Assange: Smartphone Users 'Screwed' by Surveillance States". Here is a section:
It is believed by Wikileaks that mobile phones can be remotely bugged and intercepted by governments and every feature used without the owner's knowledge, even in standby mode. The site added the camera can also be used to take photographs of the user.

Assange said the perceived problem of governments bugging and tracking people is nothing new. "9/11 has provided license for European countries, for the U.S., Canada, Australia, South America and others to develop spying systems that affect all of us."

This article by Michael Riley for Bloomberg is also relevant. "Obama Invokes Cold-War Law to Unmask Chinese Telecom Spyware"

Eoin Treacy's view Last October a number of subscribers expressed an interest in shares that offered exposure to the emerging cyber security industry. A subscriber one might describe as a senior Silicon Valley scientist kindly contributed an informative email on October 13th which I'm sure will be of interest to subscribers.

In an increasingly digital age technology has made our lives easier, improved communication beyond imagination and contributed to a quantum leap in productivity. As a result information has become a tradable commodity. Facebook through its "Sponsored Stories" offering allows companies to specifically target content to mentions of their products. Google also tailors its ads on Gmail to what a person may be interested in.

Leaps in human development are often associated with advances in how data is stored or communicated. The written word, papyrus, vellum, the printing press, pulp paper, the telegraph, phone, radio, television and internet have all contributed to increased productivity. The pace with which knowledge is acquired and built upon has never been faster and therefore competition for an edge is fiercer than ever before.

China has been notable for its brazen attitude to surveillance and intellectual property acquisition. The defence industry is currently in a developmental race to build both the best attack and defence cyber security mechanisms. Wikileaks released a controversial list of companies involved in data mining, collection and sales yesterday.

Most of the companies mentioned are privately held. I went through the 32 US companies mentioned. Most of those listed on the stock market do not have particularly attractive chart patterns. Here is a Chart Library Performance Filter of the relevant shares. They have experienced some of the deepest declines of any sector over the last few months. Most shares are overextended relative to the 200-day MA, have found at least short-term support and reversionary rallies towards the mean appear more likely that not. They will need to break their progressions of lower rally highs to indicate returns to medium-term demand dominance.

Cisco Systems (Also see Comment of the Day on September 19th) found support in the region of the 200-day MA last week and improved on that performance this week. A sustained move below $17 would now be required to question medium-term scope for additional upside.

While the cyber security sectors is garnering headlines, the secretive nature of the business, the fact that most companies are privately or state held and the underperformance of listed companies makes it difficult to identify a leader.

If we look at the broader defence sector, aerospace represents clear relative and absolute leadership. Companies such as Heico Corp, Triumph Group, EDAC Technologies, TransDigm Group and Teledyne Technologies all exhibit consistent medium-term uptrends and have found support in the region of the 200-day MA on successive occasions.

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