US indicts Insidious Russian spies, hackers over massive Yahoo hack attack on US data

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Washington: The US government on Wednesday unsealed charges against two Russian spies and two criminal hackers for allegedly pilfering 500 million Yahoo user accounts in 2014,

The indictments, announced at a news conference in Washington, represent the first time the US government has criminally charged Russian officials for cyber offences.

The content of at least 30 million accounts were accessed as part of a spam campaign and that at least 18 people who used other internet service providers, such as Google, were also victimised, the government charged.

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.

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Alexsey Belan, who is on the list of most-wanted cyber criminals, and Karim Baratov, who was born in Kazakhstan but has Canadian citizenship, were also named in the indictment.

The Justice Department said Baratov was arrested in Canada on Tuesday and that his case is now pending with Canadian authorities.

Belan was arrested in an European country in June 2013 but escaped to Russia before he could be extradited to the United States, according to the Justice Department.

“The criminal conduct at issue, carried out and otherwise facilitated by officers from an FSB unit that serves as the FBI’s point of contact in Moscow on cyber crime matters, is beyond the pale,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Mary McCord.

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