Feds charge Russian with hacking Nasdaq, banks and stealing millions

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Federal prosecutors on Thursday identified a 26-year-old Russian they have secretly charged with hacking in 2009 and 2010 the computer system of the company that runs the Nasdaq Stock Market and stealing millions of dollars from U.S. bank customers.

Authorities unsealed three indictments against Aleksandr Kalinin, known by the hacker handles “Grig” and “Tempo.”

In one indictment, Mr. Kalinin is charged with illegally accessing the computer servers of New York-based Nasdaq OMX Group Inc., which runs the tech-heavy stock exchange, and installing malicious software.

This malware “enabled him and others to surreptitiously access the infected Nasdaq servers and execute commands on those servers, including commands to delete, change or steal data,” said a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.

“The infected servers did not include the trading platform that allows NASDAQ customers to buy and sell securities,” the statement adds.

The breach was first reported publicly in 2011 by The Wall Street Journal, and caused concern because it highlighted the vulnerability of U.S. financial infrastructure to hackers — including potential terrorists or others bent on destruction.

A second indictment accuses Mr. Kalinin and Nikolay Nasenkov, 31, of stealing more than $7 million by hacking Citibank and other banks, and cloning ATM cards with the stolen data.

“The ATM cards were then used, along with the stolen account PINs, to access individual victims’ accounts through ATMs located around the world, including in the United States, Estonia, Canada, Great Britain, Russia, and Turkey,” the statement says.

Both men remain at large, prosecutors said.

The third indictment was unsealed in New Jersey, and no details were immediately available.

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About the Author
Shaun Waterman

Shaun Waterman

Shaun Waterman is an award-winning reporter for The Washington Times, covering foreign affairs, defense and cybersecurity. He was a senior editor and correspondent for United Press International for nearly a decade, and has covered the Department of Homeland Security since 2003. His reporting on the Sept. 11 Commission and the tortuous process by which some of its recommendations finally became ...

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