Russian state security helped hack 500 million Yahoo accounts


Russian state security helped hack 500 million Yahoo accounts

The independent hackers are Alexsey Belan, who's on the list of most-wanted cyber criminals and who's now in Russian Federation under the state's protection, and Karim Baratov, a Canadian citizen arrested on Tuesday.

The indictments, announced at a news conference in Washington on Wednesday, represent the first time the USA government has criminally charged Russian officials for cyber offences. Or officials, as it were.

Charges against the four accused include economic espionage, trade secret theft, wire fraud and generic hacking charges.

The defendants targeted Yahoo accounts of Russian and US government officials, including cyber security, diplomatic and military personnel, Russian journalists and employees of financial services and other commercial entities.

Chris Madsen, assistant general counsel at Yahoo, said: "The indictment unequivocally shows the attacks on Yahoo were state-sponsored".

The widespread hack was broadly targeted at the email accounts of Russian and USA officials, journalists and business officials, according to the Associated Press.

Details of 500 million users were stolen during the hack - one of the largest in history. Particularly galling to USA officials is that the men worked for the cyber investigative arm of the FSB - a rough equivalent of the FBI's Cyber Division.

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Four people charged by US officials for a Yahoo data breach include two Russian intelligence officers and two hackers they enlisted. Baratov was arrested in Canada Tuesday and the Federal Bureau of Investigation says the other three are in Russian Federation. Upon learning that a target had accounts outside of Yahoo, the FSB agents hired Baratov to hack more than 80 accounts on other email providers.

As for the two other hackers, one is named as Alexsey Belan, who is on the FBI's most-wanted list for cybercrime.

We appreciate the FBI's diligent investigative work and the DOJ's decisive action to bring to justice those responsible for the crimes against Yahoo and its users. He said social engineering or spear phishing "was the likely avenue of infiltration" used to gain the credentials of an "unsuspecting employee" at Yahoo.

U.S. intelligence agencies have said those were carried out by Russian Federation in order to help the campaign of Republican President Donald Trump.

The Guardian says the news comes amid "intense political controversy over Russian interference in the U.S. election", which included a data breach of the Democratic National Committee.

THE US JUSTICE DEPARTMENT has formally charged two Russian spies and two criminal hackers in connection with the high-profile hack on Yahoo that saw 500 million accounts compromised.



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