Hackers With Apparent Investment Banking Background Target Biotech
SAN FRANCISCO — For more than a year, a group of cybercriminals has been pilfering email correspondence from more than 100 organizations — the vast majority publicly traded health care or pharmaceutical companies — in apparent pursuit of information significant enough to affect global financial markets.
The group’s activities, detailed in a report released Monday morning by FireEye, the Silicon Valley security company, shed light on a new breed of criminals intent on using their hacking skills to gain a market edge in the pharmaceutical industry, where news of clinical trials, regulatory decisions or safety or legal issues can affect a company’s stock price.
Starting in mid-2013, FireEye began responding to intrusions at publicly traded companies — two-thirds of them, it said, in the health care and pharmaceutical sector — as well as advisory firms, such as investment banking offices or companies that provide legal or compliance services.
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