4 Members of FIN9 Charged with Crypto-Related Hacks

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Four members of the notorious FIN9 organization have been charged with crypto-related hacks against US corporations that resulted in losses of more than $71 million. The indictments, released on Friday by the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey, provided insight on the hackers’ sophisticated and harmful operations.

FIN9 Members Charged by Authorities

The accused members of FIN9, Vietnamese citizens Ta Van Tai, Nguyen Viet Quoc, Nguyen Trang Xuyen, and Nguyen Van Truong, allegedly carried out the cyber assaults between May 2018 and October 2021. The indictment describes a series of coordinated intrusions into the computer networks of several US corporations, using tactics ranging from phishing campaigns to supply chain hacks.

“Cyber actors cloak themselves in the virtual world, hiding in a space most people cannot see or understand,” stated FBI Newark Special Agent in Charge James E. Dennehy. “However smart 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.”

Harsh Charges

The charges brought against the accused are harsh. The indictment describes how, after gaining unauthorized access to company networks, the hackers used their positions to get critical, non-public information. This includes employee benefits, cash, and, critically, credit card information for both staff and customers.

One of the most concerning components of the plan was the use of stolen identities to open online accounts with cryptocurrency exchanges. This strategy not only enabled the laundering of stolen monies, but it also provided an element of anonymity, complicating law enforcement efforts to locate and retrieve the assets.

FIN9 Attacks Highlight Changing Landscape

The attacks highlight the changing landscape of cyber threats. Supply chain attacks, in particular, have emerged as a key source of breaches, leveraging trusting ties between businesses and their suppliers. By compromising a supplier, hackers can get access to the networks of several downstream organizations.

If convicted, the four suspects could face jail sentences ranging from five to twenty years. The severity of the penalties reflects the significant financial loss and the larger consequences for cybersecurity and data protection.

US Attorney Weighs In

U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger praised law enforcement agencies’ joint efforts, highlighting the FBI Newark Cyber Squad and the Little Rock Cyber Squad for their critical involvement in the arrests. “This case highlights the relentless pursuit of cybercriminals by our dedicated teams,” Sellinger told reporters. “We will continue to work tirelessly to protect our nation’s companies and their employees from such malicious acts.”

The prosecution against the FIN9 members is a striking reminder of cybercriminals’ ongoing and expanding menace. It also emphasizes the crucial need of strong cybersecurity measures, as well as the continued vigilance and cooperation between businesses and law enforcement agencies.

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