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December 2, 2014

Cyber-gang blagging Wall Street info

FIN4 likely to be American or Western Europe, and have knowledge of industry.

By Jimmy Nicholls

A cyber-gang is stealing corporate secrets from Wall Street in an attempt to exploit the stock market, according to the security company FireEye.

Named FIN4 by the firm, the group is said to be made up of native English speakers with "extensive" knowledge of the industries they target, which include publicly traded companies and their advisors, both handling insider information useful in playing a stock market.

Dan McWhorter, VP of threat intelligence at FireEye, said: "Advanced threat actors conducting attacks to play the stock market to their advantage has long been a worry but never truly seen in action.

"FIN4 is the first time we are seeing a group of very sophisticated attackers actually systematically acquire information that only has true value to a criminal when used in relation to the stock market."

Unusually the crooks appear not to be using malware to obtain the information, but are instead blagging information, including product data, merger documents and other legal briefs.

Based on their use of colloquialisms and knowledge of regulation, FireEye believes them to be from the US or Western Europe, and their use of the anonymity network Tor also suggests a high level of technical ability.

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