Three Chinese residents were charged Tuesday by the United States for hacking and stealing insider information from the computers of New York law firms that advise companies on mergers and acquisitions (M&A). Using the stolen data, the defendants allegedly made $4 million.
The announcement, including that of the arrest of one of the defendants, was made by Preet Bharara, attorney for the Southern District of New York, and William F. Sweeney Jr., assistant director-in-charge of the New York Field Office of the FBI. Iat Hong was arrested on Christmas Day in Hong Kong and the process to extradite him is underway. The whereabouts of the other two defendants, Bo Zheng and Chin Hung, were not specified.
According to a statement on the Department of Justice’s website: “The defendants are charged with devising and carrying out a scheme to enrich themselves by obtaining and trading on material, nonpublic information, exfiltrated from the networks and servers of multiple prominent U.S.-based international law firms with offices in New York, New York, which provided advisory services to companies engaged in corporate mergers and acquisitions.”