Two Ukrainian hackers indicted for targeting Wall Street regulator

Two Ukrainian hackers indicted for targeting Wall Street regulator
Hackers from Ukraine broke into the computer system of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and stole thousands of files including confidential corporate information, according to the US Department of Justice.

The DOJ named Artem Radchenko (27) and Oleksandr Ieremenko (26) of Kiev, Ukraine, in the 16-count indictment unsealed on Tuesday in the District of New Jersey. They were charged with conspiracy and fraud.

“The defendants allegedly orchestrated sophisticated computer intrusions to steal non-public information from the SEC, compromising the integrity of the market and depriving honest investors of a level playing field,” said Assistant Attorney General Brian Benczkowski.

Radchenko and Ieremenko are accused of hacking into the SEC’s Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis and Retrieval (EDGAR) system, and stealing thousands of files, including earnings reports that contain confidential financial information. They sold access to the information in these reports as well as bought and sold stock based on it, before it was known to the public, the DOJ said.

The two Ukrainians are accused of using phishing, “directory traversal attacks” and malware to gain access to EDGAR, and transfer files from the SEC system to a server under their control, located in Lithuania, between May and October 2016. Among them were 157 corporate earnings reports, which the hackers used to net $4.1 million in profits, Reuters reported citing SEC court filings.

The indictment resulted from an investigation by the US Secret Service and the FBI, assisted by the SEC and the DOJ Office of International Affairs.

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If convicted,  Radchenko and Ieremenko would face substantial fines and prison time. However, the two men appear to be in Ukraine and out of US law enforcement’s reach, as Washington does not have an extradition treaty with Kiev.

Ieremenko already has an outstanding warrant in the US, based on a 2015 indictment charging him with being part of a nine-person conspiracy to hack three major newswire companies. That case involved the theft of some 150,000 press releases related to companies traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and NASDAQ, from which the hackers obtained $30 million in illegal profits, according to the DOJ.

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