An unnamed Russian hacker used compromised retail accounts held by E*Trade, Commsec and the Australian Investment Exchange to illegally manipulate more than a dozen penny stocks to the tune of $77,429 AUD, according to the Australian Securities & Investment Commission (ASIC).
The intrusion was discovered through a joint ASIC/ Australian Federal Police probe that looked into several trades conducted last year involving a specific client holding an overseas account with Morgan Stanley Australian Securities.
“Using the hacked client accounts the suspected Russian hacker targeted 13 penny stocks listed on the Australian Securities Exchange and traded them in such a way that he created an artificially inflated price," ASIC said. "Subsequent to this trading the suspected Russian hacker then traded out of the positions, collecting the profits generated."
An Australian court has ordered the $77,429 AUD be restrained though the ASIC hasn't named the suspect.