Online security expert FireEye has discovered a group that is targeting email accounts of those with knowledge of financial information on hundreds of companies.
The group, called FIN4, appears to have a deep familiarity with business deals and corporate communications, and their effects on financial markets.
“Operating since at least mid-2013, FIN4 distinctly focuses on compromising the accounts of individuals who possess non-public information about merger and acquisition deals and major market-moving announcements, particularly in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries,” says FireEye.
The group specifically targets the emails of C-level executives, legal counsel, regulatory, risk, and compliance personnel, and other individuals who would regularly discuss confidential, market-moving information.
“We’ve been able to characterize FIN4’s activity via our incident response engagements, FIN4’s attempts to compromise our managed service clients, our product detection data, and further independent research,” says the company.
“Our visibility into FIN4’s activities is limited to its network operations; we can only surmise how they may be using and potentially benefitting from the valuable information they are able to obtain.
“However, one fact remains clear: access to insider information that could significantly impact stock prices for dozens of publicly traded companies surely puts FIN4 at a considerable trading advantage.”
Occupy Wall Street image via Shutterstock
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