U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced charges against four Vietnamese nationals linked to a series of complex cyber intrusions aimed at U.S. companies.

Ta Van Tai, Nguyen Viet Quoc, Nguyen Trang Xuyen, and Nguyen Van Truong, allegedly part of the cybercrime group FIN9, are accused of orchestrating these attacks between May 2018 and October 2021. The breaches resulted in over $71 million in combined losses for the affected companies.

“The FIN9 defendants were prolific international hackers who, for years, allegedly used phishing campaigns, supply chain attacks and other hacking methods to steal millions from their victims. They did all of this while hiding behind keyboards, VPNs, and fake identities, and even then, the Department of Justice found them. My office remains committed to its pursuit of justice for victims, and cybercriminals everywhere should take notice.”

U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger

Modus Operandi of FIN9

According to the indictment, the defendants employed various tactics including phishing campaigns and supply chain attacks to gain unauthorized access to the computer networks of multiple victim companies across the United States. Once inside, they exfiltrated sensitive non-public information, employee benefits, and funds. For instance, they redirected digital employee benefits such as gift cards to accounts under their control and stole valuable gift card information stored on victim networks.

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Techniques and Concealment

To evade detection, the defendants utilized stolen identities to register accounts on cryptocurrency exchanges and other platforms, further complicating efforts to trace their activities. Despite their efforts to mask their identities behind VPNs and fake personas, the FBI Newark Cyber Task Force, along with law enforcement partners, successfully identified and exposed their criminal operations.

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Legal Ramifications and Charges

Tai, Quoc, Xuyen, and Truong face serious charges including conspiracy to commit fraud, wire fraud, intentional damage to protected computers, and money laundering. The severity of these charges reflects the substantial impact of their alleged crimes, with potential penalties ranging from five to twenty years in prison per offense, and in some cases, mandatory consecutive terms for aggravated identity theft.

U.S. Attorney Sellinger emphasized the relentless pursuit of justice for cybercrime victims and urged affected businesses to promptly report similar incidents to law enforcement. He credited the FBI Newark’s Cyber squad and their counterparts for their diligent efforts in uncovering the intricate web of criminal activities orchestrated by FIN9.