US charges 9 in hacking and insider trading case

Since Feb 2010, the team of hackers and securities traders from Ukraine and the United States stole about 150,000 press releases and then  "executed profitable trades based on the material nonpublic information contained in the Stolen Releases,".
Since Feb 2010, the team of hackers and securities traders from Ukraine and the United States stole about 150,000 press releases and then "executed profitable trades based on the material nonpublic information contained in the Stolen Releases,".PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK (AFP) - US officials charged nine people in an international hacking and insider trading conspiracy that yielded more than US$30 million (S$42 million) in illegal trading on stocks based on non-public information, officials announced Tuesday.

The scheme was engineered by a team of hackers and securities traders from Ukraine and the US states of Georgia, Pennsylvania and New York, according to an indictment released by the US Attorney's office in New Jersey.

From about February 2010 to the present, defendants hacked into computer networks of Marketwired, PR Newswire and Business Wire, stealing some 150,000 press releases that contained material non-public information.

Defendants then "executed profitable trades based on the material nonpublic information contained in the Stolen Releases," said the indictment.

US officials have arrested five of the nine people cited in the indictment, said a spokesman for the US attorney's office.

Other agencies working on the case include the US Securities and Exchange Commission and the US Department of Homeland Security.