Financial giant JPMorgan admitted on Tuesday that it was the victim of the largest customer data hack in history from 2012 to 2014.
The U.S. Justice Department announced charges against four suspects on Tuesday, alleging the men were involved in a massive criminal enterprise involving hacking finance-related firms and money laundering. The DOJ confirmed today, following the indictment of three men arrested in a multiyear cyber ring, was that JPMorgan was the unnamed “Victim 1”. The hackers that hit a number of financial institutions and financial news outlets, JPMorgan being one of them.
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According to JPMorgan Chase & Co. spokesperson Trish Wexler, the bank involved in the historic hack was JPMorgan Chase & Co.
The new charges broaden the scope of the wide-ranging and still ongoing hacking probe, and apparently JPMorgan was not the only victim of the hackers. Although it does not provide names, the indictment also states that one of the alleged hacking victims was “one of the world’s most widely circulated financial news publications.”
The market manipulation was active from 2012 until this summer when the scheme was finally exposed and shut down. The indictment unveiled Tuesday claims, the defendants targeted a range of other companies and laundered their “vast criminal proceeds” using more than 75 shell companies.
More on massive JPMorgan hack of customer data
According to the indictment made Tuesday, one of the defendants “directed network intrusions” into nine targets that led to the theft of personal information “of over 100 million customers in these companies.”
Federal prosecutors pressed charges against Anthony Murgio, Gery Shalon, Joshua Aaron and Ziv Orenstein. Murgio was earlier connected to a cyber-attack on JPMorgan through an FBI memo.
Of note, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara in Manhattan is holding a press conference later on Tuesday to discuss the latest charges in the case.
ValueWalk reported on this story back in early August, highlighting the scam originated as a “pump and dump” penny stock scheme and a money laundering operation for hackers dreamed up by fraternity brother buddies Josh Aaron and Anthony Murgio. According to the initial indictment in August, the pair made at least $2.8 million in illicit profits through their criminal enterprises.
More from the FBI – H/T Liz Moyer, DealBook
Conspiracy to Commit Computer Hacking; Computer Hacking; Conspiracy to Commit Securities Fraud; Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud; Securities Fraud; Identification Document Fraud Conspiracy; Aggravated Identity Theft; Money Laundering Conspiracy
JOSHUA SAMUEL AARON
Mike Shields, Joshua S. Aaron, Josh Aaron
|Aaron has ties to Maryland and Florida in the United States; Tel Aviv, Israel; Kiev, Ukraine; and Moscow, Russia. He may travel to any of these locations or to other locations throughout Eastern Europe.|
Joshua Samuel Aaron is wanted by the FBI and the United States Secret Service for his alleged involvement in a scheme to hack major American companies in order to acquire customer contact information. The scheme, orchestrated from approximately 2007 to mid-2015, used the contact information of millions of American citizens to manipulate the price and volume of traded shares in numerous publicly traded stocks by means of deceptive and misleading email campaigns, and manipulative, prearranged stock trading. Aaron allegedly acted as the stock manipulation scheme’s “front-man,” using the alias “Mike Shields” (including false identification and a Social Security Number belonging to another person) to communicate with brokerage companies and co-conspirators. After causing a stock’s price and trading volume to increase artificially during the days or weeks of the email promotional campaign, members of the conspiracy, including Aaron, began dumping, or selling, their shares of the stock in a coordinated fashion, often resulting in huge profits to members of the conspiracy.A federal arrest warrant for Joshua Samuel Aaron was issued on June 2, 2015, by the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. At the time the warrant was issued, Aaron was believed to be in Eastern Europe.