- Silicon Valley security firm FireEye has issued a report detailing how criminals hacked into various companies' networks with the ultimate goal of financial gain, the New York Times reports.
- The hackers have been dubbed "Fin4" and are one of several groups that hack for financial gain. They are English-speaking hacker-pros who know the language of Wall Street and the biopharma and healthcare industries.
- Victims include a broad range of people with various job titles, including top-level managers and executives, lawyers, regulatory experts, compliance officers, researchers, and scientists.
Each industry has its own specialized language, with its own nuances, boilerplate expressions, and industry-specific vocabulary. Learning these "languages," including the languages of the financial and the pharmaceutical industries, takes time and a certain degree of immersion.
That's why it seems that these hackers may be insiders who have become disgruntled and left various industries—or simply cybercriminals with remarkable language-acquisition skills. They have demonstrated the ability to convince high-level pharma professionals to click on a link or respond to an email in which valuable, confidential information is exchanged.
And of course, the hackers' technical prowess is outstanding, as it allowed them to bypass malware filters. FireEye has notified victims, as well as the FBI. It is possible that the SEC has been contacted as well.