Two Israeli men who were recently extradited to the US, Ziv Orenstein and Gery Shalon, in their first appearances in US court pleaded not guilty to the charges against them regarding the J.P. Morgan hacking case. The two charges included breaking into around a dozen companies’ computer networks, including J.P. Morgan Chase Co. The third defendant, Josh Aaron, a US citizen, has been already arrested in Russia and he is waiting to be extradited to the United States.
The three men and they co-conspirators were accused by federal prosecutors of carrying out data breaches at several companies, selling the stolen information (including customers’ email addresses and phone numbers) and making hundreds of millions of dollars in profits. According to law enforcement authorities, the hacking allegedly facilitated a host of other crimes, including illegal internet casinos, pump-and-dump schemes, a payment processing service for other criminals and an unlicensed bitcoin exchange.
Paul Shechtman, from Shalon’s defense, and Orenstein’s lawyer, Alan Futerfas, didn’t present a bail package at the time of the court hearing in Manhattan, which means the two men will stay in federal custody.
In the current case, one of the biggest cyberattacks was against J.P. Morgan, which is the largest US bank regarding assets, where the hackers stole the contact information of more than 83 million customers, according to official court information. Prosecutors also added that the men orchestrated hacks into E*Trade Financial Corp., Scottrade Inc. and Dow Jones Co., the parent company of The Wall Street Journal.
In a separate but related indictment, prosecutors charged four men with connections to a bitcoin exchange called Coin.mx, which was allegedly owned by Shalon. Prosecutors say that Coin.mx was used by hacking victims to pay ransoms in bitcoin to cybercriminals who had seized control of victim’s computers, an attack also known as ransomware. That case is pending and is scheduled to go to trial in October.