Securities Industry Commentator by Bill Singer ESQ

January 11, 2018

Ohio Computer Programmer Indicted for Infecting Thousands of Computers with Malicious Software and Gaining Access to Victims' Communications and Personal Information (DOJ Press Release)
Phillip R. Durachinsky was charged in a 16-count indictment today for allegedly creating and installing malware on thousands of computers for more than 13 years in order to watch, listen to, and obtain personal data from unknowing victims, as well as produce child pornography. READ the FULL TEXT INDICTMENT. As set forth in part in the DOJ Press Release

[D]urachinsky is alleged from 2003 through Jan. 20, 2017, to have orchestrated a scheme to access thousands of protected computers owned by individuals, companies, schools, a police department, and the government, including one owned by a subsidiary of the U.S. Department of Energy.  He is alleged to have developed computer malware later named "Fruitfly" that he installed on computers and that enabled him to control each computer by accessing stored data, uploading files, taking and downloading screenshots, logging a user's keystrokes, and turning on the camera and microphone to surreptitiously record images and audio.  

As alleged in the indictment, Durachinsky used the malware to steal the personal data of victims, including their logon credentials, tax records, medical records, photographs, banking records, Internet searches, and potentially embarrassing communications.  According to the indictment, Durachinsky used stolen logon credentials to access and download information from third-party websites. 

Durachinsky is further alleged to have watched and listened to victims without their knowledge or permission and intercepted oral communications taking place in the room where the infected computer was located.  In some cases, the malware alerted Durachinsky if a user typed words associated with pornography.  According to the indictment, Durachinsky saved millions of images and often kept detailed notes of what he saw. 

FINRA Arbitrators Award $140,000 In Employee Defamation Case ( Blog)

An industry veteran takes on her former FINRA member firm in an effort to clear her name. She put on quite the battle and is not only to be complimented for waging the good fight but also for coming away from the fray with a nice chunk of change. For those who say that you can't beat your former employer, consider today's featured FINRA intra-industry arbitration. 

Researching Public Companies Through EDGAR: A Guide for Investors (SEC Online) The SEC's Office of Investor Education and Advocacy posted a helpful investor's guide explaining how to research a company's financial information and operations by reviewing information on EDGAR.