Macau resident Iat Hong was recently arrested in his country on US charges that include conspiracy to commit hacking, security fraud, and insider trading along with two others, Bo Zheng (also of Macau) and Chin Hung (of China). The US Department of Justice (DoJ) unsealed a 13-count indictment against the three and has initiated extradition proceedings against Hong.
As per DoJ, using stolen credentials the defendants planted malware into their victims’ Web servers and successfully hacked the networks of two major New York law firms to steal confidential data from emails on forthcoming mergers and acquisitions (M&A) of clients. They then used the information to allegedly manipulate the market by trading in stocks which were expected to rally post-announcement of the transactions. In this manner, the three reportedly earned a profit of at least $4 million through insider trading.
The defendants also tried to breach computers of five other law firms, at some point making at least 100,000 intrusion attempts.
In addition, they launched a start-up robotics company and allegedly hacked the servers of two robotics firms to further business gains and stole information on product design and technology.
Read charge details here.