More than 150,000 press releases from Business Wire, Marketwired and PR Newswire were stolen by two men to make more than $100 million profit by trading in these PRs with other companies.
Two men were found guilty in this hacking press releases case. One was a 53 year old man from Glen Mills, Pennsylvania, named Korchevsky, and the other was Khalupsky, aged 48, living in Ukraine. They both are said to have hired hackers to hack into unreleased press releases from very well known sites so they could be sold to other companies.
The two convicts had made huge profits by selling the PRs stolen from some well known companies including Home Depot Inc., Advanced Micro Devices Inc., Caterpillar Inc, Panera Bread Co., Qualcomm Inc., and Weight Watchers International Inc.
It’s not yet mentioned by the jury if they hacked into the above mentioned press releases before beginning to trade in them but investigation sure lead to the fact that they hired hackers and gave them “shopping lists” of all the companies whom they wanted to hack and get their press releases.
It is believed that the hackers have been running this scam for years, and have made around $100 million by doing so. Whilst it might seem like a huge amount, it is plausible since press releases are hugely in demand and each can be sold for a few thousand dollars.
According to the US authorities, this is so far the biggest hack of its kind. With the proceedings occuring in the US, it is hoped that the culprits will be punished severely and more people behind the attack will also be caught. A total of 10 men were named in this case, including hackers and planners.
Surprisingly, the defendant’s lawyers are ready to fight back despite the evidence against them appearing to be crystal clear.