In another instance of cyber fraud relating to Russia, a Russian national has just been charged in the U.S. for gaining illegal access brokerage accounts, and secretly making odd trades, to the benefit of the criminal ring he was working with.
Since he was going after Americans, New Yorker Petr Murmylyuk, 31, likely would’ve had an easier time eluding authorities if he’d conducted the hack while living in Russia – it would appear that the unspoken rules of the hacking trade in that country generally state that if one were to hack, don’t hack a fellow Russian, try to hack an American, and don’t practice Scientology. In all seriousness, Russia is cracking down on cybercrime, with the country-wide auditing of ISPs to slow down rampant media piracy, and the recent SWAT team arrest of a teen who was trying to extort millions from an oligarch.
Petr Murmylyuk, 31, who lives in New York, hacked into several brokerage accounts, resulting in losses in the millions. He is charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, unauthorized access to computers and securities fraud, and could face up to 5 years, along with a $250,000 fine. The U.S. District Attorney’s Office of New Jersey alleges that Murmylyuk would break into the accounts, and then change the user info to keep his victims from ever noticing the trades he was making. Murmylyuk and his ring would then sell options from the hacked accounts to their own fraudulent accounts, and then turn around and sell them back for up to nine times the price, minutes later.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is also filing a civil suit against Murmylyuk, who was also running a similar scam to where he’d sell securities at inflated prices from his fake accounts to the accounts he’d hacked. Murmylyuk is also accused of tapping foreign nationals to open up bank accounts so he’d have a place to move his “winnings,” which cost Fidelity, Scottrade, E*Trade, and Schwab about $1 million each. Murmylyuk is presently in custody in Manhattan.