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Feds charge nine hackers for $30M insider trading scheme

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The Wall Street Journal reports that federal prosecutors are set to unseal charges Tuesday against nine hackers and stock traders involved in an insider trading operation that netted more than $30 million on illicit deals. The group to be charged allegedly had been conducting sophisticated cyber-attacks against newswire services in order to steal upcoming merger and acquisition information that had been uploaded to the newswire's servers -- but not yet published -- and position their investments accordingly. The group was discovered after a multi-agency investigation involving the DHS, FBI, SEC and the Secret Service.

Authorities believe it to be the largest scheme of its kind discovered to date and part of a growing trend. Last winter, internet security firm, FireEye, warned the FBI about the activities of FIN4, a separate group of hackers that appear to only target specific pieces of information that could be used to gain various market advantages. "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," Dan McWhorter, FireEye's vice president of threat intelligence, told the FBI.

[Image Credit: Getty Images]

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