(Reuters) – A hacking group best known for breaking into top-tier technology companies Apple, Facebook and Twitter more than two years ago is now believed to be one of a handful of highly skilled independent gangs pursuing corporate secrets for profit.

According to new research from the largest U.S. security software vendor, Symantec Corp, the group appears to be among the few that display significant talent without backing from a national government. The group stays below the radar with a small number of carefully targeted attacks.

“They are very focused, wanting everything valuable from the top companies of the world,” said Vikram Thakur, a Symantec senior manager. “The only way they could use it, in our opinion, is through some financial market or by selling it.”

Thakur said Symantec and other security companies such as FireEye Inc were tracking less than a half dozen such groups, including one called FIN4.


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