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Hacker pleads guilty to stealing press releases

Hacking into newswire services can land you a 20-year prison sentence, in case you didn't know. And this is exactly what 28-year-old Ukrainian hacker Vadym Iermolovych is facing.

The hacker pleaded guilty in federal court in Newark, New Jersey, on Monday, on the case of making $30 million by trading non-public information about corporate earnings.

What Iermolovych basically did was, according to Bloomberg, hack into newswire services (PR Newswire, Business Wire and Marketwired), and steal 150,000 unpublished press releases showing corporate earnings. He's been doing that from February 2010 to November 2014. They also had to move from server to server every once in a while, as they were discovered and their access denied.

By selling that information, others were able to make stock trades in advance, probably earning much more than $30 million.

Iermolovych was not alone in this, as well. Apparently, he's been working together with Ivan Turchynov and Oleksandr Ieremenko, who remain at large.

In his plea, he said he bought a hacked database of login credentials of PR Newswire employees. He managed to get in on February 23, 2013, he said.

Bloomberg, citing court records, says he was first charged by the US Secret Srvice on November 5 2014, in a separate case. In it, he resold hacked credit card and debit card data from 600,000 accounts.

Two days later, he was arrested. At the time, he was living with his mother.

Image Credit: Shutterstock / CobraCZ

Sead Fadilpašić

Sead is a freelance journalist with more than 15 years of experience in writing various types of content, from blogs, whitepapers, and reviews to ebooks, and many more, across sites including Al Jazeera Balkans, TechRadar Pro, IT Pro Portal, and CryptoNews.