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4 Vietnamese accused of cyberattacks on US companies, causing losses of over $71mn

4 Vietnamese accused of cyberattacks on US companies, causing losses of over $71mn

Monday, June 24, 2024, 19:07 GMT+7
4 Vietnamese accused of cyberattacks on US companies, causing losses of over $71mn
Four members of a sophisticated international cybercrime group known as ‘FIN9’ were reported to be Vietnamese nationals who have been charged for their involvement in a series of computer intrusions that caused victim companies to collectively suffer more than US$71 million in losses during the 2018-21 period. Photo: CNBC

Four Vietnamese citizens have been charged for their involvement in a series of computer intrusions that caused victim companies to collectively suffer more than US$71 million in losses during the 2018-21 period.

They included Ta Van Tai, also known as 'Quynh Hoa' and 'Bich Thuy;' Nguyen Viet Quoc, aka 'Tien Nguyen;' Nguyen Trang Xuyen; and Nguyen Van Truong, aka 'Chung Nguyen,' according to an indictment released by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey on Thursday last week.

The indictment showed that these Vietnamese were members of a sophisticated international cybercrime group known as ‘FIN9.’

The defendants were accused of hacking the computer networks of victim companies throughout the U.S. and using their access to steal or attempt to steal non-public information, employee benefits, and funds from at least May 2018 through October 2021.

For example, the defendants faced charges for breaching employee benefit programs operated by their victims and redirecting digital perks, like gift cards, to accounts under their control.

They also stole gift card information stored on the computer networks of certain victims.

The defendants caused their victims to suffer losses of more than $71 million.

“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," said FBI – Newark special agent in charge James E. Dennehy.

According to the indictment, Tai, Xuyen, and Truong sold stolen gift cards to third parties, including through an account registered with a fake name on a peer-to-peer cryptocurrency marketplace, in order to conceal and disguise the source of the stolen money.

“FBI Newark’s Cyber Task Force and our law enforcement partners use precision and innovative techniques to expose these people for what they are –  simple thieves," Dennehy said.

“We ask any business or company facing a similar attack to reach out to us immediately to protect your systems and to stop these criminals from moving on to the next victim."

Tai, Quoc, Xuyen, and Truong were charged with one count of conspiracy to commit fraud, extortion, and related activity in connection with computers; one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud; and two counts of intentional damage to a protected computer. 

If convicted, they face up to five years in prison for the conspiracy to commit fraud, extortion, and related activity in connection with computers; up to 20 years in prison for the conspiracy to commit wire fraud; and up to 10 years in prison on each count of intentional damage to a protected computer. 

Tai, Xuyen, and Truong were also charged with one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, which carries a mandatory maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. 

Tai and Quoc were indicted for one count of aggravated identity theft, which carries a mandatory consecutive term of two years in prison, and one count of conspiracy to commit identity fraud, which is punishable by a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison.

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Hong Ngan - Duy Linh / Tuoi Tre News

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