Canadian Hacker-for-Hire Sentenced to Five Years in Prison

The United States Justice Department has indicted four defendants--Karim Baratov, Dmitry Dokuchaev, Igor Sushchin, and Alexsey Belan-- “for computer hacking, economic espionage, and other criminal offenses in connection with a conspiracy, beginning in January 2014, to access Yahoo’s network and the contents of webmail accounts.”

The defendants are said to have used the unauthorized access they gained in order “to steal information from at least 500 million Yahoo accounts and then used some of that stolen information to obtain unauthorized access to the contents of accounts at Yahoo, Google, and other webmail providers.”

Those targeted included “Russian journalists, U.S. and Russian government officials, and private-sector employees of financial, transportation, and other companies.”

Both Attorney General Jeff Sessions and FBI Director James Comey issued statements accompanying the indictments and sentencing announcement.

“Cyber crime poses a significant threat to our nation’s security and prosperity, and this is one of the largest data breaches in history,” said Attorney General Sessions. “But thanks to the tireless efforts of U.S. prosecutors and investigators, as well as our Canadian partners, today we have identified four individuals, including two Russian FSB officers, responsible for unauthorized access to millions of users’ accounts. The United States will vigorously investigate and prosecute the people behind such attacks to the fullest extent of the law.”

“Today we continue to pierce the veil of anonymity surrounding cyber crimes,” said Director Comey. “We are shrinking the world to ensure that cyber criminals think twice before targeting U.S. persons and interests.”

Baratov, 23, a Canadian “hacker-for-hire” was this week sentenced to 60 months in prison and the forfeit of all remaining assets.

Posted in The Takedown

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