Monday, 11 December, 2017

Two Russian spies charged 2014 hack of 500 million Yahoo accounts

Juana Turner | 16 March, 2017, 00:29

Four people charged by USA officials for a Yahoo data breach include two Russian intelligence officers and two hackers they enlisted.

FSB officers Dmitry Aleksandrovich Dokuchaev and Igor Anatolyevich Sushchin were named in the indictment.

One of these individuals has already been arrested in Canada, The Washington Post said. 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 charges against the four include hacking, wire fraud, trade secret theft and economic espionage. The hacks also damaged Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer's departure from the company, who was recently paid $23 million as a parting gift from Verizon, $9 million less than was anticipated before news of the breach.

The Justice Department was expected to publicly announce the charges on Wednesday.

Details of 500 million users were stolen during the hack - one of the largest in history.

Yahoo says the indictments against four Russian nationals, two with direct ties to the country's Federal Security Service (FSB), involved in the multiple cyberattacks against company prove that it was state-sponsored. Dokuchaev and Sushchin are said to be Russian intelligence agents who allegedly masterminded and directed the hacking, the department said.

The charges arise from a compromise of Yahoo user accounts that began at least as early as 2014.

The Justice Department said the group gained access to Yahoo's systems to steal information from at least 500 million Yahoo accounts and then used that information to get content from other accounts on Google and other webmail providers.

The company later disclosed another intrusion affecting more than 1 billion user accounts in 2013, far surpassing the 2014 event.

The announcement comes as United States authorities investigate Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election through a hacking campaign.

In a statement, Chris Madsen, Yahoo's assistant general counsel and head of global security, thanked law enforcement agencies for their work.

They were said to have targeted Yahoo accounts of cybersecurity, military and diplomatic personnel as well as employees of financial services and other businesses. Verizon ended up knocking $350 million off the price as a result of the breaches, and will pay $4.5 billion, after initially proposing a discount of up to $925 million.

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