United States charges four in hacking of 500 million Yahoo accounts

Security / Tech
Yahoo accounts

One of the defendants also used his access to Yahoo’s networks by searching out credit and gift card numbers to make a financial gain.

Those who are still using their Yahoo accounts can at least now know the culprits behind the hacking of 500 million of those Yahoo accounts are being criminally charged. The United States government had indicted four individuals for illegal access to those 500 million Yahoo accounts, two of the individuals are members of the Russian Federal Security Service.

A grand jury in the Northern District of California has indicted four defendants, including two officers of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), for computer hacking, economic espionage and other criminal offenses in connection with a conspiracy, beginning in January 2014, to access Yahoo’s network and the contents of webmail accounts. The defendants are Dmitry Aleksandrovich Dokuchaev, 33, a Russian national and resident; Igor Anatolyevich Sushchin, 43, a Russian national and resident; Alexsey Alexseyevich Belan, aka “Magg,” 29, a Russian national and resident; and Karim Baratov, aka “Kay,” “Karim Taloverov” and “Karim Akehmet Tokbergenov,” 22, a Canadian and Kazakh national and a resident of Canada.

The U.S. Government claims the four defendants breach of these Yahoo accounts allowed them to access users other accounts such as Gmail. The accused were able to get account information of Russian journalists, United States government officials, Russian government officials, and private-sector employees in the financial sector. One of the defendants also used his access to Yahoo’s networks by searching out credit and gift card numbers to make a financial gain.

“Cyber crime poses a significant threat to our nation’s security and prosperity, and this is one of the largest data breaches in history,” said Attorney General Sessions. “But thanks to the tireless efforts of U.S. prosecutors and investigators, as well as our Canadian partners, today we have identified four individuals, including two Russian FSB officers, responsible for unauthorized access to millions of users’ accounts. The United States will vigorously investigate and prosecute the people behind such attacks to the fullest extent of the law.”

“Today we continue to pierce the veil of anonymity surrounding cyber crimes,” said Director Comey. “We are shrinking the world to ensure that cyber criminals think twice before targeting U.S. persons and interests.”

“ The criminal conduct at issue, carried out and otherwise facilitated by officers from an FSB unit that serves as the FBI’s point of contact in Moscow on cybercrime matters, is beyond the pale,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General McCord. “Once again, the Department and the FBI have demonstrated that hackers around the world can and will be exposed and held accountable. State actors may be using common criminals to access the data they want, but the indictment shows that our companies do not have to stand alone against this threat. We commend Yahoo and Google for their sustained and invaluable cooperation in the investigation aimed at obtaining justice for, and protecting the privacy of their users.”

You can read the entire Department of Justice’s announcement at the link below.

What do you think of these four being indicted? Let us know in the comments below or on Google+, Twitter, or Facebook.

  Source: U.S. DOJ
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