32 people charged in international hacking and insider trading ring

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of the United States announced on August 11 fraud charges against 32 people, among them two are Ukrainian men, after finding their involvement in an alleged international hacking and insider trading ring.

The SEC issued a press release informing that these people took part in a scheme to profit from stolen nonpublic information about corporate earnings announcements.

“Those charged include two Ukrainian men who allegedly hacked into newswire services to obtain the information and 30 other defendants in and outside the U.S. who allegedly traded on it, generating more than $100 million in illegal profits,” the press release read.

According to the press statement, the complaint against the people was filed under seal on August 10 in U.S. District Court in Newark, N.J.

The crooks used proxy servers to mask their identities and by posing as newswire service employees and customers.  The two allegedly recruited traders with a video showcasing their ability to steal the earnings information before its public release.

“The complaint charges that in return for the information, the traders sometimes paid the hackers a share of their profits, even going so far as to give the hackers access to their brokerage accounts to monitor the trading and ensure that they received the appropriate percentage of the profits,” the statement read.

Similarly, it also charges that the traders sought to conceal their illicit activity by establishing multiple accounts in a variety of names, funneling money to the hackers as supposed payments for construction and building equipment, and trading in products such as contracts for difference (CFDs).                                              

“This international scheme is unprecedented in terms of the scope of the hacking, the number of traders, the number of securities traded and profits generated,” Mary Jo White, Chairperson of the SEC, said in the press release.

 “These hackers and traders are charged with reaping more than $100 million in illicit profits by stealing nonpublic information and trading based on that information. That deception ends today as we have exposed their fraudulent scheme and frozen their assets,” she added.

The SEC charged that Ivan Turchynov and Oleksandr Ieremenko created a secret web-based location to transmit the stolen data to traders in Russia, Ukraine, Malta, Cyprus, France, and three U.S. states, Georgia, New York, and Pennsylvania.

“This cyber hacking scheme is one of the most intricate and sophisticated trading rings that we have ever seen, spanning the globe and involving dozens of individuals and entities,” said Andrew Ceresney, Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement.  “Our use of innovative analytical tools to find suspicious trading patterns and expose misconduct demonstrates that no trading scheme is beyond our ability to unwind.”

Housing.com hacked within days of CEO's ouster

Within days of its CEO Rahul Yadav’s exit from the company, the website of Housing.com has been hacked.

The homepage of the website shows a cryptic message, which seems as a call for its co-founder.

The defaced Housing.com home page showed the message: “Yes! We will solve the real estate, but 10X better with The Chief Architect.” The Chief architect here, refers to Yadav who was sacked by the Board of Directors, blaming him for his unfavourable behaviour.

(pc- google images)


The page of the website was filled with the following messages.

Yadav has however denied that he by any means is behind the hacking incident. He denied his involvement on his facebook page by saying that, “I would have DESIGNED it better. ‪#‎NotInvolved ‪#‎LoveYouTechTeam".

J Prasanna, director, Cyber Security and Privacy Foundation, a non-profit organization in Bangalore said that, Housing should get a thorough technical assessment of the website. He added that in a live portal, there are more chances of compromising a lot of data of the consumers.

"In this case, the hackers decided to publish the hacking. What if the hackers don't publish this and the data is sold to competitors or rogue elements? These guys did for publicity, but not everyone would do it for fun.", Time of India quoted Prasanna as saying.

Housing.com’s board released announced Yadav’s release on the 1st of July. The board released a statement that day indicating his ouster from the online realty company.

The press release said, “The board believes his behaviour is not befitting of a CEO and is detrimental to the company, known for its innovative approach to product development, market expansion and brand building.” Yadav, the release said, would “no longer be an employee of Housing and be associated with the company in any manner, going forward”.

An unidentified group stole 400 GB data from Hacking Team


An unidentified group of hackers stole 400 GB worth of confidential data from the Hacking Team, which provides effective, easy-to-use offensive technology to the worldwide law enforcement and intelligence communities.

According to report published on Welivesecurity, the attack started late night on July 6. It is said that the weak passwords might be reason behind the leak.

“Passwords are also contained in the leaked documents, including the login for the company’s official Twitter account which was used by the attackers to publish confidential information. The attackers posted private emails from company employees to Twitter, as well as a link from where anybody can download the 400GB file,” the report read.

The company’s official came to know about the attack only on the next morning. 

Christian Pozzi, a security engineer, on July 7 confirmed by stating that, “We are awake. The people responsible for this will be arrested. We are working with the police at the moment.” 

The researchers have claimed that as the company, which develops surveillance tools, sells such tools to various organizations across the world and that might be the reason behind the hacking.

 J. Prasanna, Founder of Cyber Security & Privacy Foundation, said the Hacking team has been accused of selling software to hack into people for last few years. They seem to have supplied to countries where there are dictatorship regime (where people are targeted by government).

“Maybe an activist group would have hacked into the servers of hacking team,” opined Prasanna.
“Companies can make such tools, but it should be sold responsibly to democratic regime, such activity of monitoring should be subject after a court warrant. It should never be sold to countries which does human rights violations,” he added.

 He added that there was always weak element in security.

“There may have a zero day vulnerabilities which hackers could have used to exploit,” he said. 

Regarding about the impact of the attack, Prasanna said that many countries or governments who dealt and bought this software would get exposed.

“Today, many governments and companies are hungry for information on people/corporations/governments. So they hire hackers or software that does hacking,” Prasanna concluded.

Hackers hacked Polish Airline LOT

The computer system of Polish airline LOT was hacked, about 1,400 passengers were grounded at Warsaw’s Chopin airport.

The system was hacked around 4 pm local time (3pm GMT), used to issue flight plans. After five hours, the specialist came up with a solution.

The  spokesman Adrian Kubicki, of LOT told Reuters reporter that “delays meant 10 national and international flights were canceled, while more than a dozen more were behind schedule.”

With his interview to TVN 24 television, he described the incident as the “first attack of its kind.”

The airline provided seats for some passengers on the other flights, and offered accommodation for those who want to stay overnight.

Kubicki mentioned, “the passengers’ lives were not in danger at any point, and the airport itself was not affected.”

“We’re using state-of-the-art computer systems, so this could potentially be a threat to others in the industry,” he added.

BJP Junagadh website hacked by Pakistani hackers

Local news organizations reports that BJP Junagadh unit's website (bjpjunagadh.org) was hacked and defaced by some unknown hackers.

The hackers who defaced the website posted comments against BJP and RSS. The defacement also contains several images of people burning and standing on the Indian tricolor.

We have referred some defacement-mirror websites, the hack appears to have taken place in February.  It is unclear whether these local reports referring this incident or the website got defaced again today.

According to the defacement-mirror record(hxxp://dark-h.org/deface/id/12604), this website was defaced by a Pakistani hacker going by handle "Sniper haxXx" who is responsible for many Indian websites' hacks.

"As soon as I reached office, our IT cell employees told me that someone has hacked our website http://www.bjpjunagadh.org and uploaded photographs and comments to malign reputation of BJP, RSS and Narendra Modi,"Indian Express quoted In-charge of BJP Junagadh office Raju Jivani as saying.

A complaint has reportedly been lodged against the unknown hacker, police are trying to find the hacker who is responsible for the breach.

Meanwhile, Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee's President Arjun Modhwadia told reporters that "This is purely an attempt to get votes by playing the communal card ahead of the election"

Pakistani hacker group 'Team MaXiMiZerS' hacks India's Kerala state Government websites

Hundreds of Indian websites including two Kerala state Government websites have been breached by a Pakisani hacker group identifying itself as "'Team MaXiMiZerS"

The affected websites are Cooperative Institute of Management and Technology (cimat.kerala.gov.in) and Kerala Cultural Welfare Development(cwb.kerala.gov.in), Kerala's Kannur University (kannuruniversity.ac.in). 

Other affected sites have been listed here: http://pastebin.com/p0zPbQDC

The defaced websites displayed the message  "What we Ask From India All the time is the only Kashmir , Most of the times we dnt act like that but this is the only way left . Why indian army is killing innocent's in kashmir ?  We Just Ask you these simple Question's and the indian gov got no answer's..... why ?"

"This is the only way left to protest for us. For what you are scared of ? India will loose the beauty of kashmir ? how many muslim brother's being killed on daily basis did u ever thought ? a 16 year's girl raped and killed a boy shot in the head for what ? because they are protesters ?All we ask is just the Answer of these Questions Nothing Personal ...you will pay for these sins one day"