A key suspect in the 2014 cyberattacks against JPMorgan and nine other financial institutions in the U.S. was arrested at the John F Kennedy Airport in New York on Wednesday, the US Department of Justice announced.
U.S. national Joshua Samuel Aaron, aka Mike Shields, was living in Russia but decided to return to the U.S. to face charges voluntarily, according to the BBC. Aaron is accused of “massive computer hacking crimes against U.S. financial institutions, brokerage firms, and financial news publishers, including the largest theft of customer data from a U.S. financial institution in history,” FBI Assistant Director William F. Sweeney Jr. said.
The 32-year-old allegedly partnered with Gery Shalon and Ziv Orestein to carry out the operation on multiple financial institutions in the US. Shalon and Orestein were arrested in July 2015 in Israel and deported to the U.S. this year. The three face a combined sentence of more than 100 years in prison, if found guilty.
“Joshua Samuel Aaron allegedly worked to hack into the networks of dozens of American companies, ultimately leading to the largest theft of personal information from U.S. financial institutions ever,” said Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara. “For pursuing what we have called ‘hacking as a business model,’ and thanks to the efforts of the FBI and the U.S. Secret Service, Aaron will now join his co-defendants to face justice in a Manhattan federal courtroom.”
The JPMorgan Chase breach is associated with the data leak of some 83 million customers, one of the most high-profile hacks and data breaches to date. The hackers made off with users’ private data such as names, emails and physical addresses and phone numbers.