US Charges 2 Russian FSB Officers, 2 Alleged Hackers Over Yahoo Attack

Posted March 16, 2017

MI5 made "substantial contributions" to an investigation which has seen four people - including two members of the Russian security services - charged over one of the largest data breaches in United States history. The local authorities have yet to decide whether he will be extradited to face charges in USA, as his case is now pending according to Reuters.

Both Russian journalists and American diplomatic officials were then targeted using the information stolen in the hack. Sushchin, Dokuchaev's superior also, worked as the Head of Information Security at a Russian investment bank.

"Belan's notorious criminal conduct and a pending Interpol Red Notice did not stop the FSB officers who, instead of detaining him, used him to break into Yahoo's networks", the DoJ said.

Canadian resident Baratov was arrested Tuesday in that country on a provisional USA arrest warrant, and his case is now before a Canadian court.

A notorious Russian hacker allegedly involved in the massive hack of millions of Yahoo email accounts purportedly made money by manipulating the company's search engine to show users fake erectile dysfunction ads.

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The charges are unrelated to the alleged hacking of the Democratic National Committee and the FBI's investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign.

Reuters and Bloomberg, citing anonymous officials, said the U.S. Justice Department announcement could come as early as March 15. In late 2014, Belan stole a copy of Yahoo's User Database, according to the indictment. Five months before then he was arrested in a European country, DOJ says, but "he was able to escape to Russian Federation before he could be extradited". The other is in Russian Federation, officials say.

Another man indicted in the case is Alexsey Belan, who is on the most-wanted cyber list and has been charged twice before, in connection with intrusions into three major tech firms in Nevada and California in 2012 and 2013.

The Washington Post has stated that Russian Federation carried out the hack, which affected Yahoo customers' email services as well as apps like Flickr, in order to target dissidents, journalists, USA government officials, in addition to monetising the accounts through spam operations.

The indictments, the results of a two-year investigation by the FBI, marked the first time the United States government filed criminal charges against Russian government officials for cybercrimes.