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Alleged JPMorgan Hacker Arrested in New York

The US authorities have finally caught up with a key suspect in a stock manipulation scheme linked to the breach of 100 million customer records at JPMorgan and other financial institutions.

Joshua Samuel Aaron was deported from Russia and arrested by the FBI and US Secret Service on landing at New York’s JFK Airport, according to a Department of Justice statement.

Along with Gery Shalon, he’s accused of orchestrating information-stealing cyber-attacks against financial institutions, brokerage firms and financial news publishers, including what’s been described as “the largest theft of customer data from a US financial institution in history.”

That refers to the breach of 83 million customers at JPMorgan.

It’s claimed that with the data obtained, they and a third man – Ziv Orenstein – were able to make millions from a subsequent “pump-and-dump” campaign by selling penny stocks to the breached customers – artificially inflating the price.

Shalon and Orenstein were arrested in Israel and extradited to the US in June this year.

Investigators initially suspected Russian involvement in the JPMorgan attack and Aaron and former Florida State University classmate, Anthony Murgio, are known to have traveled there frequently.

However news emerged in October that Aaron had been detained as long ago as May after breaking the terms of his three-year Russian visa.

Aaron’s lawyer claimed the suspect chose to face his charges in the US voluntarily, according to the BBC.

He now faces a maximum combined sentence of over 100 years for his alleged crimes.

“Joshua Samuel Aaron allegedly worked to hack into the networks of dozens of American companies, ultimately leading to the largest theft of personal information from US financial institutions ever," said Manhattan US attorney, Preet Bharara, in a statement. “For pursuing what we have called ‘hacking as a business model,’ and thanks to the efforts of the FBI and the US Secret Service, Aaron will now join his co-defendants to face justice in a Manhattan federal courtroom.”

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