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USA charges two Russian spies over hacking of 500 million Yahoo accounts

USA charges two Russian spies over hacking of 500 million Yahoo accounts

Two Russian intelligence agents and two hackers are charged in a breach of Yahoo that affected at least a half billion user accounts.

Two other hackers who were also indicted acted with the backing of Moscow, said Justice Dept. and Federal Bureau of Investigation officials in Washington DC. He was in custody in Greece for a time, but made his way back to Russian Federation, where he is being protected by authorities, officials said.

"There are no free passes for foreign state-sponsored criminal behavior", she said.

The charges against the men include hacking, wire fraud, trade secrets theft and economic espionage.

Both Yahoo and Verizon, which finalised the purchase of the dot-com assets from Yahoo earlier this month, have refused to comment. A subsequent regulatory disclosure revealed the firm knew about the 2014 hack that year, but failed to inform users, investors or the public for almost two years.

Update: The US Justice Department is set to blame the Yahoo hack on Russian spies and government-hired hackers, according to reports. One of the alleged hackers is also believed to have searched the breached accounts for credit card and gift card credentials and hijacked some 30 million accounts to conduct spam campaigns. A Dmitry Dokuchaev - presumably the same man now charged in the United States - was arrested in Russian Federation last December on charges of treason for allegedly passing information to United States intelligence.

In addition to the 2014 breach, Yahoo said it had a 2013 security breach affecting more than 1 billion accounts and has not determined the cause of that breach.


The two FSB officers worked in a section devoted to cyber security, McCord said.

This marks the first time the US government has issued criminal charges against Russian officials for cyber attacks. Stolen was information that according to Yahoo may have included names, email addresses, phone numbers, dates of birth, scrambled passwords and security questions and answers.

Some of the accounts the hackers had access to include those belonging to Russian journalists, USA and Russian government officials, and employees of financial, transportation, and other companies, the DOJ said.

At least half a billion user accounts were affected by the breach which started as early as 2014, said a USA law enforcement official.

The FBI and the Central Intelligence Agency have both corroborated reports that Russian hacking - in that instance, of Democrats' email accounts - was also involved in an attempt to help Donald Trump win the 2016 presidential election.

Yahoo! agreed to cut the price Verizon is paying to buy the company by $350 million in light of its two breaches.


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