Savvy Hackers Use Spearphishing to steal Wall Street M&A info

outlook-phish-640x359What if you knew beforehand about mergers and acquisitions, and could trade with that inside information? Well that's been going on for more than a year. 

Hackers that apparently used to work on Wall Street sent spear-phishing attacks and have exfiltrated merger-and-acquisition data out of more than 100 companies.

Researchers at FireEye call the group FIN4, and these hackers have been social engineering executives, lawyers and consultants into opening up their networks to confidential data and communications.

FIN4 does not infect their victims with malware, but instead focuses on capturing usernames and passwords to victims’ email accounts, allowing them to view private email correspondence.

It is suspected that the information was used for insider trading. The hackers’ inside knowledge suggests they’ve worked in the financial sector, Jen Weedon, FireEye’s manager of threat intelligence, said in an interview. “We suspect they are Americans, given their Wall Street inside knowledge,” Weedon said. “They seem to have worked on Wall Street.” 

“Access to insider information that could make or break stock prices for over 80 publicly traded companies could surely put FIN4 at a considerable trading advantage,” FireEye said in the report. FIN4 uses social engineering to craft convincing phishing lures, most often sent from other victims’ email accounts and through hijacked email threads.

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Related Pages: Spear Phishing

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