Feeds

Feds charge pump and dump hacker

Funds spree with compromised accounts

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Federal authorities brought securities fraud charges against a man they allege made more than $82,000 in a six-week scheme that used compromised trading accounts to drive up the price of thinly-traded stocks.

Aleksey Kamardin, a 21-year-old with an address in Tampa, Fla., bought the shares using an E*Trade account and then caused hi-jacked client accounts with online brokerages to buy large blocks of the same stock, according to a complaint filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission. With the share price inflated as a result of the activity, Kamardin then sold the holdings in his E*Trade account, enabling him to realizes a handsome profit.

Such pump and dump schemes have been proliferating in recent years, usually through the use of viruses targeting the computers of online stock traders. Once a trader's machine has been owned, the criminal uses the account to manipulate the price of penny stocks.

Kamardin's spree ran from July 13 to Aug. 25 and affected 17 different stocks, including those of Gales Industries (ticker: GLDS), Fuego Entertainment (FUGO), and Butler National (BUKS). In the case of Gales, Kamardin purchased 55,000 shares on the morning of Aug. 25 for 50 cents to 55 cents, caused a compromised account maintained by TD Ameritrade to buy 245,000 shares, and then dumped his initial investment at 66 cents a share, yielding more than $7,000 in profit.

Not bad work if you can get it, we'd be tempted to say, except that this type of scheme is preposterously easy for the Feds to track. Gales's trading volume on the day in question was 533,400, compared with a 15-day average of 20,756. Kamardin's trades, which accounted for some 20 per cent of that activity, must have stuck out like a sore toe.

Which is perhaps why the boy genius, over two days in late August, had to wire his ill-gotten gains to a domestic bank account, transfer them into a second account maintained by a Russian-born roommate, relay them into an account located in Latvia and escape to Russia.

Still, when you live in a country where the per capita gross domestic product is one-fourth of that in the US, $82,000 will buy you plenty of Piroshkis - even if you have to look over your shoulder while chewing. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED
Canadian teen accused of raiding tax computers using OpenSSL bug
Heartbleed exploit, inoculation, both released
File under 'this is going to hurt you more than it hurts me'
Arts and crafts store Michaels says 3 million credit cards exposed in breach
Meanwhile, Target investigators prepare for long process in nabbing hackers
Canadian taxman says hundreds pierced by Heartbleed SSL skewer
900 social insurance numbers nicked, says revenue watchman
prev story

Whitepapers

SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the 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.