No Tav attack Intesa San Paolo

At about 9:30 am ET, emails started dropping into reporters’ in-boxes. The messages included the stunning claim that Intesa Sanpaolo (IITOF) CEO Carlo Messina had resigned after manipulating the bank’s earnings to the tune of $2 billion. The hoax mail included a link to a website that looked very similar to the bank’s, and an email address for the press team at Intesa Sanpaolo — — that was almost identical to the real thing:

The hoaxers replied to emails sent to the fake address, signing them off “Matteo Fabiani,” the real head of the bank’s media relations team. Most news organizations quickly figured out something was wrong, but not before the spoof set off a storm on Twitter.

The hoax also sparked what one Italian journalist described as “eight minutes of madness” on the Milan stock exchange. Shares in Intesa Sanpaolo plunged from about 3.11 euros to 2.99 — or nearly 4% — in a matter of moments, before bouncing back quickly to about 3.08, where the stock closed.

The action was claimed later by No Tav, which targeted Intesa as the main bank financing the
TAV high-speed railway project between Turin and Lyon.