Hack, pump, dump, jail

Graham Cluley

According to Wired magazine, an Indian man was sentenced yesterday to two years in an American jail for his part in an international fraud ring that hacked into the internet accounts of American brokers and manipulated stock prices.

35-year-old Thirugnanam Ramanathan, a native of Chennai, India, and legal resident of Malaysia, hacked into stock market investment accounts held with online brokerages TD Ameritrade, Fidelity, E*Trade and several others.

Having gained unauthorized access to the victims’ accounts, Ramanathan and his two accomplices sold the victims’ holdings and bought shares in lightly-traded stocks pumping up their price. The gang had previously purchased the same stocks in their own brokerage accounts, and after the stock price had artificially risen they swiftly dumped their own holdings for a profit.

IP addresses revealed that the…

Read more in my article on the Naked Security website.

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Graham Cluley is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s when he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and is an international public speaker on the topic of computer security, hackers, and online privacy. Follow him on Twitter at @gcluley, or drop him an email.