Nine cyber criminals have been charged by US authorities for insider trading, accused of making $30m in illegal profits by trading on information from earnings reports before they were made public.
What’s unusual about the case is that rather than using company insiders, hackers were used to extract the information, accessing the servers of Businesswire and PRNewswire to steal information from reports and press releases.
Securities and Exchange Commission chief Mary Jo White called the scheme “unprecedented” at a press conference today:
In terms of the scope of the hacking at issue, the number of traders involved, the number of securities unlawfully traded and the amount of the profits generated.
The suspected hackers, living in the Ukraine and US state Georgia, and their co-conspirators, living in the US, were charged in New Jersey and New York federal courts today.
The information the hackers are accused of having stolen includes reports from companies such as Oracle, Bank of America, Hewlett-Packard, Netflix and Boeing.