Feeds

Extradition hearing in Bloomberg hack/extortion

Hard to say where the crime occurred

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

SANS - Survey on application security programs

The extradition hearing of two men accused of attempting to extort $200,000 from the founder of the Bloomberg financial news service began in London today.

Oleg Zezov and Igor Yarimika have been held on remand since their arrest in London last August as part of a sting operation involving Bloomberg founder Michael Bloomberg.

The hearing in Bow Street magistrates court, which is expected to conclude tomorrow, will decide whether to send the men for trial in America or keep them in the UK, where they might also face criminal charges.

Zezov, who was employed by Kazkommerts Securities in Kazakhstan, and Yarimaka face separate hacking, extortion and computer intrusion charges in the US, which carry a maximum sentence of up to 23 years in prison.

In court it was alleged that hackers found a way to break into Bloomberg's systems and were able to send and receive email on behalf of employees, as well as obtaining personal information about Michael Bloomberg, including his personal credit card number.

In Hotmail messages subsequently sent to Michael Bloomberg a fee of $200,000 was requested for security services, which if not paid, would result in the exposure of security weaknesses in Bloomberg's system to its clients and the press.

Bloomberg did not play along with this and contacted the FBI, who managed to lure the "conspirators" Zezov and Yarimika to London, where they were arrested.

This is disputed by the defence which said the two attended the London meeting only as representatives of someone called "Alex" who wanted to be paid as a security consultant for Bloomberg and advise it on how to secure its systems.

Julian Knowles, counsel for Yarimika, said that the pair could either be tried here or in Kazhakstan "where they are wanted by the police" and he questioned whether the crimes alleged happened within the jurisdiction of the United States. A ruling on this point will have important implications for the prosecution of crime in cyberspace, as well as being important in deciding whether the two will be sent to the US.

Much time in court was taken up arguing about the admissibility of various elements of evidence, particularly about where threatening emails were sent from and received.

District Judge Wicks, who will adjudicate on the application for extradition, confessed that his knowledge of Internet addresses largely cam from the quiz show The Weakest Link, and this question was laid aside for consideration later.

District Judge Wick is expected not to deliver an immediate verdict but to consider legal arguments before making a ruling, probably in around two weeks time. Appeals, whatever this ruling is, can be expected since the first "blackmail by email" case throws up a number of important legal issues. ®

Related stories:
Bloomberg involved in Net sting

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Parent gabfest Mumsnet hit by SSL bug: My heart bleeds, grins hacker
Natter-board tells middle-class Britain to purée its passwords
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Web data BLEEDOUT: Users to feel the pain as Heartbleed bug revealed
Vendors and ISPs have work to do updating firmware - if it's possible to fix this
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
NSA denies it knew about and USED Heartbleed encryption flaw for TWO YEARS
Agency forgets it exists to protect communications, not just spy on them
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.