Two Russian spies among four charged in United States over Yahoo hack
Two Russian spies among four charged in United States over Yahoo hack
The Justice Department Says It Knows Who Hacked Yahoo
17 March, 2017, 01:32
Or officials, as it were.
"The defendants include two officers of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), an intelligence and law enforcement agency of the Russian Federation and two criminal hackers with whom they conspired to accomplish these intrusions".
The four are accused of targeting the email accounts of Russian and US government officials, reporters, financial services employees and military personnel, officials said.
They hired Alexsey Belan and Karim Baratov, described as "criminal hackers", to carry out the attacks.
USA officials briefed on the case say a federal grand jury in Northern California has indicted two Russian operatives of the Kremlin's intelligence agency, a well-known Russian hacker and a Canadian in the cyberattack. Belan, who in 2013 was named by the Federal Bureau of Investigation as one of its most wanted cyber criminals, was arrested in Europe 2013, but escaped to Russian Federation.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who announced the charges said "Cyber crime poses a significant threat to our nation's security and prosperity, and this is one of the largest data breaches in history".
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Chris Madsen, assistant general counsel at Yahoo, said: "The indictment unequivocally shows the attacks on Yahoo were state-sponsored".
"But the fact that [the U.S. government is] charging two members of the FSB - the successor to the old Soviet KGB - shows the sort of cyber activities that the Russian government may be involved in", said Bays.
The other alleged criminal hacker, Belan, has been charged twice before in the U.S. The fact that the indictment ties together the FSB and criminals is a new development, he said.
Canadian resident Baratov was arrested Tuesday in that country on a provisional USA arrest warrant, and his case is now before a Canadian court.
The tech company's servers were targeted in early 2014, when the information of approximately 1 million e-mail accounts was breached. However he escaped to Russian Federation before he could be extradited to the U.S. The government "will vigorously investigate and prosecute the people behind such attacks to the fullest extent of the law".
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They allegedly targeted Yahoo accounts of Russian and USA government officials, as well as Russian journalists. Belan escaped arrest in Europe by fleeing to Russian Federation before he could extradited, the report says.
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