The Justice Department announced charges Wednesday against four suspects in the massive 2014 Yahoo data breach, including two Russian security service officers.
Officials identified the agents as Dmitry Dokuchaev and Igor Sushchin, both of whom were part of the successor agency to Russia's KGB.
One of the hackers, Karim Baratov, 22, a Canadian and Kazakh national who lives in Canada, was arrested in Canada on Tuesday, according to McCord. Acting Assistant Attorney General McCord explained the unit the officers were from is also the FBI's point of contact in Moscow for cyber-crimes.
The four will face a total of 47-count charges, ranging from conspiracy, computer fraud, and abuse, to economic espionage and aggravated identity theft.
The breach announcements were the latest in a series of setbacks for the Internet pioneer, which has fallen on hard times in recent years after being eclipsed by younger, fast-growing rivals including Alphabet Inc's Google and Facebook Inc.
That's according to an indictment unsealed today by the Department of Justice. One of the alleged hackers is also believed to have searched the breached accounts for credit card and gift card credentials and hijacked some 30 million accounts to conduct spam campaigns. The FSB sought "information for intelligence purposes, targeting journalists, dissidents, and US government officials", but the spy agency allowed its officials and the hackers to use the email caches for personal financial gain. The company said at least 500 million user accounts were affected.
This would be the first criminal case brought against Russian government officials by the US Justice Department.
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Three months later, Yahoo said it found another attack in 2013 affecting about 1 billion accounts.
The stolen data included names, email addresses, phone numbers, dates of birth, and encrypted passwords, said Yahoo.
The Russian government is suspected by the USA intelligence community to be behind a hacking and influence campaign to interfere in and influence the 2016 presidential election in favor of President Trump.
Yahoo! agreed to cut the price Verizon is paying to buy the company by $350 million in light of its two breaches.
"The indictment unequivocally shows the attacks on Yahoo were state-sponsored", said Chris Madsen, assistant general counsel at Yahoo, in a statement.