Russia Detains a Fidelity Hack Suspect ... For a Visa Violation
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Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Russia Detains a Fidelity Hack Suspect ... For a Visa Violation

A third suspect tied to hacking attacks on Fidelity [profile] and other U.S. financial services giants could soon be coming home. And that could help authorities go after a fourth, as-yet-unnamed suspect. [See MFWire's living timeline for more updates and history on the great financial services hack.]

Joshua Aaron

Joshua Aaron, an American and a native Marylander, is being detained in Russia and is negotiating with U.S. officials to come back to the United States, Stepan Kravchenko and Michael Riley of Bloomberg report. The publication posits that, given that Aaron made frequent trips to Russia, he might have met in person with an as-yet-unnamed fourth suspect "who is believed to be Russian or Russian-speaking." Two unnamed sources tell Bloomberg that U.S. officials know who this Russia-based hacker is.

The case dates back to November 11, 2015, when U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara revealed a previously sealed indictment against Joshua Samuel Aaron, Ziv Orenstein, and Gery Shalon, accusing them of masterminding a "cybercriminal enterprise operated through hundreds of employees co-conspirators and infrastructure in over a dozen countries." Between the indictment and the press coverage of the case, firms identified as victims so far include: Fidelity, J.P. Morgan [profile], TD Ameritrade, Scottrade, and News Corp's Dow Jones unit. Yet arrest warrants for the trio were issued earlier in 2015, weeks after Aaron arrived in Russia via Ukraine on May 23, 2015.

In May 2016, the Israeli government agreed to extradite Orenstein and Shalon, both Israeli, to the U.S., and Bloomberg writes that the duo were extradited to New York in July 2016.

Meanwhile, the way Bloomberg tells it, Aaron "has been living in Russia with his Israeli wife". Russia has been holding him at a Moscow-area detention facility for illegal immigrants since arresting him in May for failing to show a valid passport during a midnight police check ... at his apartment. On May 20, 2016, a Russia judge fined Aaron the equivalent of $80 and ordered him deported, and another judge denied Aaron's appeal in June.

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