Russian Hacker Extradited to US for Trading on Stolen Information
A Russian national was extradited to the United States from Switzerland over the weekend, to face charges for his alleged role in a scheme whose participants traded on information stolen from hacked U.S. companies.
The man, Vladislav Klyushin, 41, of Moscow, Russia, was arrested in Switzerland on March 21, 2021. Also known as Vladislav Kliushin, he was charged alongside four other Russians allegedly involved in the same scheme.
According to an indictment the United States Department of Justice unsealed on Monday, the individuals conspired to gain unauthorized access to computers and to commit wire fraud and securities fraud.
Ivan Ermakov, aka Ivan Yermakov, 35; Nikolai Rumiantcev, aka Nikolay Rumyantsev, 33; Mikhail Vladimirovich Irzak, aka Mikka Irzak, 43; and Igor Sergeevich Sladkov, 42, were also changed for their involvement in the scheme.
Ermakov, a former officer in Russia’s military intelligence agency Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU), was previously charged in the U.S. for his involvement in the hacking of the 2016 U.S. elections and for targeting international anti-doping agencies and sporting federations as part of hacking and disinformation operations.
According to the unsealed indictment, Klyushin, Ermakov and Rumiantcev worked at M-13, a Moscow-based company offering penetration testing services. They also offered investment management services, in exchange for up to 60% of the profit.
Between January 2018 and September 2020, the five individuals allegedly agreed to trade in the securities of public companies, based on non-public information obtained during intrusions at two U.S.-based filing agents.
The charging documents allege that the defendants harvested usernames and passwords that were later used to access the filing agents’ computer networks.
They allegedly viewed and downloaded material non-public information (MNPI) of hundreds of companies publicly traded on U.S. national securities exchanges and then purchased or sold the securities of those companies, based on whether they were about to announce positive or negative financial results.
Klyushin and his co-conspirators allegedly used multiple brokerage accounts, in their names and in the names of others, to trade securities in line with the illegally obtained information, which allowed them to earn tens of millions of dollars.
Ermakov, Rumiantcev, Irzak and Sladkov are still at large, the DoJ announced.