09:57 GMT29 November 2020
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    US Department of Justice announced Wednesday the indictment of two alleged Russian FSB officers and two alleged criminal hackers for 2014 theft of information on some 500 million Yahoo users.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The indictment lists two alleged officers of Russian FSB intelligence agency, Dmitry Dokuchaev and Igor Sushchin. It also includes two alleged hackers Alexsey Belan and Karim Baratov

    The attack on the company occurred over three years ago, in August 2013. Involving over a billion user accounts, the hack is the largest security breach in history. The company had already secured this humiliating title just three months ago, in September 2016, when the data of 500 million users was reported to have been breached. That attack was said to have been the work of a "state-sponsored actor."

    Following the hack, Verizon, which planned to acquire Yahoo for $4.8 billion, announced that it would review the terms of the agreement, including the purchase price. Miliefsky noted that the hacking news amounted to an "epic fail" by Verizon's mergers and acquisitions team, and will likely affect the purchase price by a "tremendous amount."

    "We are announcing indictment of four individuals responsible for hack into Yahoo and the use of that information to obtain information of yahoo accounts and other email productions," Acting Assistant Attorney General Mary McCord said. "Defendants include two officers of the Russian intelligence services and two criminal hackers with whom they conspired."

    Two officers of Russia’s FSB intelligence agency allegedly acted on behalf of the agency, McCord claimed.

    "As our indictment alleges, and as we have reason to believe based on our evidence, they were acting in their capacities of FSB officials," McCord said when asked if officers Dmitry Dokuchaev and Igor Sushchin acted individually or on behalf of the FSB.

    "The defendants targeted accounts of Russian and US government officials, including cybersecurity, diplomatic and military personnel," McCord stated. "They also targeted Russian journalists, numerous employees of other providers, whose networks conspirators sought to exploit, and employees of financial services and other commercial entities."

    The indictment by the US Justice Department on Wednesday regarding the Yahoo hack does not allege any link to the hacking of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) in 2016, McCord told reporters.

    "Our indictment does not allege any connection between this intrusion and the intrusions into the DNC. That’s a separate investigation," McCord said on Wednesday.

    Alleged criminal hacker Karim Baratov, who is charged with three other co-defendants with the 2014 theft of information about some 500 million Yahoo users, was arrested in Toronto last night, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Assistant Director Paul Abbate announced Wednesday.

    "Fourth co-conspirator, Karim Baratov, was apprehended by the Toronto Police Service Squad on Tuesday," Abbate stated.

    United Kingdom’s MI5 security agency assisted in the investigation of alleged hacker Karim Baratov, one of four defendants charged with the 2014 theft of information from some 500 million Yahoo accounts, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Assistant Director Paul Abbate said in a press conference.

    "UK MI5 security service made a substantial contribution to the investigation," Abbate stated on Wednesday.

    Yahoo! Inc. is a US Internet corporation based in Sunnyvale, California. Well-known for its search engine, the company offers a number of online services, including the e-mail service Yahoo mail.


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