Foreign-Based Hackers Who Stole Thousands Of Documents From SEC Indicted

On Tuesday, January 15, 2019, the US Attorney for the district of New Jersey filed a 16-count indictment against a pair of Ukraine-based hackers. Artem Radchenko and Oleksandr Ieremenko, both citizens of Kiev, Ukraine, face charges of securities fraud conspiracy, wire fraud conspiracy, computer fraud conspiracy, wire fraud, as well as computer fraud.

In a separate but related filing, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced charges against Ieremenko along with seven other criminal conspirators who were located in the US and Russia.

According to the charging documents, the hacking group used keyloggers and other hacking methods to break into the SEC’s Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis and Retrieval (EDGAR) system. This allowed them to access non-public corporate filings ahead of any public announcements.

The government says the group used the stolen information to manipulate the US stock market and to enrich themselves by buying and selling stocks based on information they gained by hacking into the SEC’s secure EDGAR database.

The SEC filed charges against Sungjin Cho and David Kwon, both of Los Angeles, California. Also charged in the indictment are three Ukraine-based conspirators, identified as Igor Sabodakha, Victoria Vorochek and Ivan Olefir. The indictment also names Russian-based conspirator, Andrey Sarafanov. Along with the seven individuals named in the SEC charging documents, two companies, Capyield Systems, Ltd. (owned by Olefir) and Spirit Trade Ltd, are also accused of participating in the scheme.

In a statement published on the Department of Justice website, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito said:

“The defendants charged in the indictment announced today engaged in a sophisticated hacking and insider trading scheme to cheat the securities markets and the investing public. They targeted the Securities and Exchange Commission with a series of sophisticated and relentless cyber-attacks, stealing thousands of confidential EDGAR filings from the Commission’s servers and then trading on the inside information in those filings before it was known to the market, all at the expense of the average investor.”

One of the defendants, Ieremenko, remains at large following a series of charges brought against him and multiple other defendants, in a 2015 indictment. According to the charging documents in that case, Ieremenko previously helped to mastermind the “largest known computer hacking and securities fraud scheme” in US history.

While the *president insists that there is a national security crisis on America’s southern border, all signs continue to point to a threat that will not be addressed by any wall – steel, concrete, see-thru or metaphorical. No wall of any kind can adequately address the threats presented by our adversaries in 2019.

The reality is America’s enemies no longer have to storm our borders in order to accomplish their goals of weakening our economy or destabilizing our government. Foreign interlopers don’t need to step foot on US soil to tamper with our infrastructure or steal US national security secrets. They can do those things from the safety and comfort of their own homes in Russia or Ukraine or China etc…

Donald Trump claims we need a wall because ‘walls work.’ Really? Walls might have worked in the past to keep out foot soldiers or horses and chariots maybe, but what level of threat do those things actually present in the year 2019? Foreign enemies aren’t going to charge across the unprotected Mexican border waving swords and pitchforks. They have drones and jets and other things that can fly right over walls now – not that they need those things to wage war against us.

All they need to do that is an Internet connection.

Here’s more on this story from ABC 7 in New York.

Featured image credit: video screen capture via ABC news 7, New York