Russian Spies Among Four Indicted by US Authorities For 2014 Yahoo Hack

Camille Francis
March 22, 2017

The Russian hacking conspiracy, which started as early as 2014, allowed Belan to use his relationship with the Russian Spy agency and access to Yahoo's network to engage in financial crimes, according to the indictment.

The indictment identifies Dokuchaev and Sushchin as officers of the Russian Federal Security Service, or FSB.

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"We have said repeatedly that there can be no discussion of any official involvement of any Russian agency, including the any unlawful cyber activities", said Peskov, who has cast US allegations against Russia as part of a political campaign to kill off a US-Russia rapprochement. USA officials also charged two other men, a Russian national and a Canadian/Kazakh national, for participating in the major Yahoo security breaches.

Yahoo has praised the news, saying: "The indictment unequivocally shows the attacks on Yahoo were state-sponsored".

Yahoo said the attackers were able to access the accounts without the use of passwords after stealing the company's source code used in generating cookies. The Justice Department stated Baratov was detained in Canada on Tuesday and his case is pending with Canadian authorities. They likened the move to indictments filed in 2014 against five Chinese military officers who were accused of hacking and stealing information from USA companies to help the Chinese government and businesses. Another, Alexsey Belan, is on the list of the FBI's most wanted cyber criminals and has been indicted multiple times in the U.S. It's not clear whether he or the other two defendants, Dmitry Dokuchaev and Igor Sushchin, will ever step foot in an American courtroom since there's no extradition treaty with Russian Federation. In a statement, Chris Madsen, Yahoo's assistant general counsel and head of global security, thanked law enforcement agencies for their work.

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The United States does not have an extradition treaty with Russia, but McCord said she was hopeful Russian authorities would cooperate in bringing criminals to justice.

The company announced a still-larger breach in December that occurred in 2013 and affected one billion accounts, though it has not linked that intrusion to the one in 2014.

The hacks forced Yahoo to accept a discount of $350 million in what had been a $4.83 billion deal to sell its main assets to Verizon Communications Inc (VZ.N). He declined to discuss Baratov's personal or professional life, describing him only as a successful entrepreneur.

Just a day after many Twitter users' accounts were compromised by hackers who exploited the access of a third-party app to post ugly swastika-splattered tweets in support of Turkish president Recep Erdoğan, the official Twitter account of the McDonald's burger chain was apparently hijacked and used to post an abusive tweet to Donald Trump, the USA president.

Examples where Google accounts were targeted include an assistant to the deputy chairman of the Russian Federation, an officer of the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs, and a physical training expert employed by the Russian government.

Other reports by My Hot News

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