Evgeny Gashichev is charged with manipulating stock prices by
hacking into other people's online trading accounts.
Experts at SophosLabs™, Sophos's global
network of virus, spyware and spam analysis centers, have warned
online stock traders to take care over their brokerage accounts
following allegations that a man manipulated stock prices by
hacking into other peoples' accounts.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has convinced a
court to freeze the assets of Grand Logistic, a Belize corporation
located in Talinn, Estonia, and its owner Russian-born Evgeny
Gashichev. Gashichev is accused of making $353,609 by manipulating
stock prices in at least 21 companies by breaking into online
According to the SEC, Grand Logistic and Gashichev unlawfully
profited by manipulating the stock market through innocent people's
trading accounts between 28 August and 13 October 2006.
"Many people will have encountered 'pump-and-dump' scams because
of the large amount of spam email devoted to making illegal profits
this way," said Graham
Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos. "In this case
it appears that the SEC is responding not to a spam attack, but to
unauthorized entry to online accounts, whose funds are then used to
purchase shares in small, thinly-traded companies. These kind of
attacks combine the crimes of securities fraud, identity theft and
computer hacking. The end result is the same as a spam
pump-and-dump campaign - the share prices are illegally pumped up
and the criminals make a small fortune."
"This case should act as a timely reminder that online traders
must take care to properly secure their accounts, and make sure
that their login details do not fall into the wrong hands,"
Sophos recommends that all computer users ensure that they are
running an automatically updated anti-virus
product, security patches and firewall software.