DOJ Indicts Russian Spies For Hacking 500M Yahoo Accounts

The officers of the FSB, Russia's Federal Security Service, which is a successor to the KGB, were identified as Dmitry Dokuchaev and his superior, Igor Sushchin, the government said.

Dokuchaev and Suschin, both of whom work for the Russian security service also known as FSB, allegedly directed and paid hackers to collect the information, working with Belan and Baratov in this case to obtain access to email accounts.

The indictments, the results of a two-year investigation by the FBI, marked the first time the USA government filed criminal charges against Russian government officials for cybercrimes. Or officials, as it were.

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

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

When Yahoo disclosed a year ago that more than 500 million of its user accounts had been hacked, the company blamed state-sponsored hackers. 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.




Two of the defendants are Russian FSB officers and the other two are criminal hackers.

They hired Alexsey Belan and Karim Baratov, described as "criminal hackers", to carry out the attacks. She said the defendants are two officers of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) and two computer experts who helped them in the attack.

The source was also quoted by TASS, RIA and Interfax as saying the topic of "Russian hackers" was part of an internal political struggle in the United States.

"Belan has been indicted twice before in the United States for three intrusions into e-commerce companies that victimized millions of customers, and he has been one of the FBI's most wanted cyber criminals for more than three years".

The hack, which the DOJ said was initiated in January 2014, affected at least 500 million Yahoo accounts.

"The indictment unequivocally shows the attacks on Yahoo were state-sponsored", Yahoo Assistant General Counsel Chris Madsen said in a statement. The 2014 incident was in addition to a much larger theft that Yahoo disclosed in December and that dated back to 2013.

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