Insider trading hacker pleads guilty to p0wning press releases

Ukrainian faces 20 years behind bars for trying to filch financial news

Prison

A Ukrainian ne'er-do-well who broke into market computers for an insider trading scheme has entered a guilty plea in the US.

The 28-year-old, Vadym Iermolovych, has put his hands up to three charges – conspiracy to commit wire fraud, conspiracy to commit computer hacking, and aggravated identity theft.

The US Department of Justice says he netted a stunning US$30 million for his efforts.

Iermolovych was part of a gang that made its way into the networks of Marketwired, PR Newswire and Business Wire, and used their access to peruse unpublished press releases. That information was then passed to a network of securities traders.

Companies the group traded included Align Technology, Caterpillar, Hewlett Packard, Home Depot, Panera Bread and Verisign.

Iermolovych and his accomplices used phishing and SQL injection to compromise the newswires' networks, the DoJ release says.

Others charged in relation to the hacks included Ukrainians Ivan Turchynov, Oleksandr Ieremenko and Pavel Dubovoy; Arkadiy Dubovoy and Igor Dubovoy, who lived in the US state of Georgia when they were charged.

Arkadiy Dubovoy and Igor Dubovoy entered their own guilty pleas earlier this year.

The four security traders charged for their part in the scheme are Vitaly Korchevsky of Pennsylvania; Vladislav Khalupsky of Brooklyn, New York and the Ukraine; and Leonid Momotok and Alexander Garkusha of Georgia. Garkush entered a guilty plea in December 2015.

The wire fraud charges carry a maximum 20 years in the slammer. ®


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