Saturday, July 20, 2024

Four Members of FIN9 Hackers Charged for Attacking U.S. Companies

Four Vietnamese nationals have been charged for their involvement in a series of computer intrusions that caused over $71 million in losses to U.S. companies.

The indictment, unsealed today, names Ta Van Tai, aka “Quynh Hoa,” aka “Bich Thuy;” Nguyen Viet Quoc, aka “Tien Nguyen;” Nguyen Trang Xuyen; and Nguyen Van Truong, aka “Chung Nguyen,” as members of the notorious international cybercrime group known as “FIN9.”

From May 2018 through October 2021, the defendants allegedly hacked into the computer networks of various U.S. companies, stealing non-public information, employee benefits, and funds.

U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger emphasized the severity of the crimes, stating, “The FIN9 defendants were prolific international hackers who, for years, allegedly used phishing campaigns, supply chain attacks, and other hacking methods to steal millions from their victims.”

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Sophisticated Hacking Techniques Unveiled

According to the indictment, the FIN9 group employed a range of sophisticated techniques to infiltrate their victims’ networks.

These included phishing campaigns and supply chain attacks, which target the computer networks of trusted third-party vendors.

Once inside, the hackers exfiltrated sensitive information, including employee benefits and gift card data, which they redirected to accounts under control.

FBI Newark Special Agent in Charge James E. Dennehy highlighted the challenges in tracking such cyber criminals, noting, “Cyber actors cloak themselves in the virtual world, hiding in a space most people can’t see and don’t understand.

However brilliant these hackers believe they are at disguising themselves, these members of the FIN9 group couldn’t conceal their exfiltration of data from their victims’ companies.”

Charges and Potential Penalties

The defendants face many charges, including conspiracy to commit fraud, extortion, wire fraud, and intentional damage to protected computers.

If convicted, they could face significant prison time. Specifically, they are charged with:

  • One count of conspiracy to commit fraud, extortion, and related activity in connection with computers, carrying a penalty of up to five years in prison.
  • One count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, with a potential 20-year sentence.
  • Two counts of intentional damage to a protected computer, each carrying up to 10 years in prison.
  • Additional charges of conspiracy to commit money laundering, aggravated identity theft, and conspiracy to commit identity fraud, with penalties ranging from two to 20 years in prison.

U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited the FBI Newark’s Cyber squad and their counterparts in Little Rock for their diligent work in bringing these charges.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Anthony P. Torntore and Vinay S. Limbachia of the U.S. Attorney’s Cybercrime Unit in Newark.

The charges and allegations in the indictment are accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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Divya is a Senior Journalist at GBhackers covering Cyber Attacks, Threats, Breaches, Vulnerabilities and other happenings in the cyber world.

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