Undergraduate Blog / Career Development

Account Intrusion

Over the past few weeks, I had the opportunity to work on an account intrusion scheme with the Enforcement Division at the SEC.

The confidential nature of the Securities and Exchange Commission usually limits the information that I can disclose, however because the case was published in a press release following a court order last week, the information is now public.

The narrative of the case follows a UK resident who hacked into accounts of other investors to make unauthorized trades. Because the securities were relatively small cap, the trades in the victims’ accounts raised the share price enough such that when hacker sold his own shares he made a profit. Over the course of these trades, the hacker made a profit while causing a loss of in the victims’ accounts.

To prevent the hacker from inflicting further damage or tampering with evidence, the SEC filed an emergency asset freeze on the hacker’s personal account. The SEC is now seeking a permanent injunction, return of ill-gotten gains, and financial penalty.