U.S. indicts Russian spies, hackers over massive Yahoo hack

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The US government opened indictments against two Russian spies and two criminal hackers for purportedly stealing 500 million Yahoo users accounts in 2014. The allegations, declared at a news conference in Washington, signify the first time the US government has criminally alleged Russian officials for cyber offenses . The subjects of at least 30 million accounts were retrieved as part of a spam campaign and at least 18 people who used other internet service providers, such as Google, were also abused, the government claimed.

The officers of the FSB, Russia’s Federal Security Service, which is a successor to the KGB, were recognized as Dmitry Dokuchaev and his superior, Igor Sushchin, the government said. Both men are in Russia, it said. Alexsey Belan, who is on the list of most-wanted cyber criminals, and Karim Baratov, who was born in Kazakhstan but has Canadian citizenship, were also on the indictment. The Justice Department stated Baratov was detained in Canada on Tuesday and his case is pending with Canadian authorities. Belan was arrested in Europe in June 2013 but fled to Russia before he could be deported to the United States, according to the Justice Department.

“The criminal conduct at issue, carried out and otherwise facilitated by officers from an FSB unit that serves the FBI’s point of contact in Moscow on cyber crime matters, is beyond the pale,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Mary McCord. Hacking campaign was paid by the FSB to gather intelligence but that the two hackers used the collected information as an opportunity to “line their pockets.” The United States does not have an extradition treaty with Russia, but McCord said she was hopeful Russian authorities would The United States often concerns cyber criminals with the purpose of delaying future state-sponsored activity.

The administration of former President Barack Obama passed similar claims against Chinese and Iranian hackers who have not been arrested. The 47-count prosecution includes conspiracy, computer fraud and abuse, economic espionage, theft of trade secrets, wire fraud, access device fraud and aggravated identify theft.

The claims are not related to the hacking of Democratic Party emails during the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Intelligence agencies have stated that they were passed by Russia to aid the campaign of Republican candidate Donald Trump. Yahoo mentioned when it declared the then-unprecedented breach last September that it believed the attack was state-sponsored, and on Wednesday the company said the indication “unequivocally shows” that to be the case.
Yahoo in December also declared an infringement that happeed in 2013 affecting one billion accounts, though it has not linked that intrusion to the one in 2014. The Russian hacking conspiracy, which started as early as 2014, allowed Belan to use his relationship with the Russian Spy agency and access to Yahoo’s network to engage in financial crimes, according to the indictment.

The violations were the last in a series of hindrances for the Internet pioneer, which has fallen on hard times in recent years after being hidden by up and coming competitors including Alphabet Inc’s Google and Facebook Inc. Yahoo’s disclosure of the years-old cyber invasions and Its much-criticized slow retort forced it to accept a discount of $ 350 million in what had been to $ 4.83 billion to sell its main assets to Verizon Communications Inc. Shares of Yahoo were down 0.9 percent. “We are committed to keeping our users secure and will continue to engage with law enforcement to combat cyber crime,” Chris Madsen, Yahoo’s general counsel, said in a statement.

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