SEC, Insider Trading and Cyber Security: An International Hacking—Insider Trading Ring

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP
Contact

Cyber security is a key focus for virtually everyone these days. The SEC, for example, has been issuing releases discussing disclosure requirements and offering guidance for a number of years. Prominent issuers have reported breaches as has the U.S. Government.

Now the SEC has brought an enforcement action tied to cybersecurity and two prominent news wire services. In a complaint unsealed yesterday the SEC, in conjunction with prosecutors in the District of New Jersey and the Eastern District of New York, filed charges against thirty-two defendants – 17 individuals and 15 entities — alleging an international hacking scheme. It tied to two insider trading groups which netted over $100 million in illegal trading profits over five years and which may be continuing. SEC v. Dubovoy (D. N.J. Unsealed August 11, 2015).

The defendants divide into three groups: 1) The hacker defendants: Oleksandr Ieremanko and Ivan Turchynov, both residents of Kiev, Ukraine. 2) The trader defendants—The Dubovoy Group: This is a group of twelve individuals and entities isheaded by Arkadiy Dubovoy of Alpharetta, Georgia. Members of the group reside in Georgia, Ukraine, New York and Pennsylvania. 3) The trader defendants – The Foreign Traders. This is a group of eighteen persons. The individual reside in Russia and Ukraine. The entities are from jurisdictions which include Malta, the Cayman Islands, Cyprus and France.

The hacker defendants penetrated the computer services of at least two newswire services. This was done using a variety of advanced techniques which included masking their identities by posing as newswire employees and customers. As a result they were able to acquire advance copies of corporate press releases before distribution to the public. Over time this gave the hackers access to press releases regarding companies which included: Caterpillar, Inc., TreeHouse Foods, Inc., RadioShack, Zumiez, Inc., Brocade Communications Systems, Edwards Life Sciences, Panera Bread Co., VMware, Inc., TIBCO Software and Align Technology. Overall the hackers are alleged to have obtained over 100,000 press releases.

The hacker defendants – Messrs. Ieremanko and Turchynov – transmitted the information to the traders. The traders had been recruited with a video which showcased the ability of the hackers to obtain inside information. The information had to be transmitted in a narrow window of time before the release by the news wires of the press releases. The members of the trader group placed trades through a variety of accounts using the information prior to the public release of the information. The hacker defendants were paid either a flat fee or a percentage of the trading profits. At times the traders in the groups communicated with each other and the hackers had access to various trading accounts. Trading in this fashion has continued through at least May 2015. The Commission’s complaint alleges violations of Securities Act Section 17(a) and Exchange Act Sections 10(b), 20(a) and 20(e).

The parallel criminal actions in New Jersey and Brooklyn, New York were brought against nine individuals. Those cases allege that $30 million was made on the scheme.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Dorsey & Whitney LLP | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

Dorsey & Whitney LLP
Contact
more
less

Dorsey & Whitney LLP on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
Sign up using*

Already signed up? Log in here

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Custom Email Digest
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):
hide

JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

Information Collection and Use by JD Supra

JD Supra collects users' names, companies, titles, e-mail address and industry. JD Supra also tracks the pages that users visit, logs IP addresses and aggregates non-personally identifiable user data and browser type. This data is gathered using cookies and other technologies.

The information and data collected is used to authenticate users and to send notifications relating to the Service, including email alerts to which users have subscribed; to manage the Service and Website, to improve the Service and to customize the user's experience. This information is also provided to the authors of the content to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

JD Supra does not sell, rent or otherwise provide your details to third parties, other than to the authors of the content on JD Supra.

If you prefer not to enable cookies, you may change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please note that rejecting cookies while visiting the Website may result in certain parts of the Website not operating correctly or as efficiently as if cookies were allowed.

Email Choice/Opt-out

Users who opt in to receive emails may choose to no longer receive e-mail updates and newsletters by selecting the "opt-out of future email" option in the email they receive from JD Supra or in their JD Supra account management screen.

Security

JD Supra takes reasonable precautions to insure that user information is kept private. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. However, please note that no method of transmitting or storing data is completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of user information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.

If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us at info@jdsupra.com. In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your user information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development and, if so, will endeavor to do so as promptly as practicable under the circumstances.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information JD Supra Collects

Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

In the event there is a change in the corporate structure of JD Supra such as, but not limited to, merger, consolidation, sale, liquidation or transfer of substantial assets, JD Supra may, in its sole discretion, transfer, sell or assign information collected on and through the Service to one or more affiliated or unaffiliated third parties.

Links to Other Websites

This Website and the Service may contain links to other websites. The operator of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using the Service through the Website and link to another site, you will leave the Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We shall have no responsibility or liability for your visitation to, and the data collection and use practices of, such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of this Website and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our privacy policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use the Service or Website following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, as it may be amended from time to time, in whole or part, please do not continue using the Service or the Website.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, your dealings with this Web site, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at: info@jdsupra.com.

- hide
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.