FBI Announces Indictment Of Perps of Yahoo Hack

Acting Assistant Attorney General Mary McCord, left, accompanied by U.S. Attorney for the Northern District Brian Stretch, center, and FBI Executive Director Paul Abbate, speaks during a news conference at the Justice Department in Washington, Wednesday, March 15, 2017. The Justice Department announced charges against four defendants, including two officers of Russian security services, for a mega data breach at Yahoo. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

If you recall back in 2014 Yahoo suffered a data breach that resulted in over 500 million customer accounts being compromised. This is not to be confused with the 2013 data breacy that compromised over 1 billion customer accounts. Today the FBI announced indictments in the case. Unsurprisingly, there were a lot of Russians involved.

The Justice Department is set to announce Wednesday the indictments of two Russian spies and two criminal hackers in connection with the heist of 500 million Yahoo user accounts in 2014, marking the first U.S. criminal cyber charges ever against Russian government officials.

The indictments target two members of the Russian intelligence agency FSB, and two hackers hired by the Russians.

The charges include hacking, wire fraud, trade secret theft and economic espionage, according to officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the charges have not yet been announced. The indictments are part of the largest hacking case brought by the United States.

Some of the figures indicted have made the news before.

Alexsey Belan has one outstanding indictment, a $100,000 reward on his head, and his own Wikipedia page. He was also the subject of Obama’s last minute joke-ish sanctions on Russia in retaliation for Trump winning the election.

Dmitry Dokuchaev is a Russian hacker known ad “Forb.” He is also a major in the FSB. Forb has bigger issues than a US indictment to worry about. Back in December he was charged with treason by the FSB for being involved in passing secrets to the CIA. Right now he’d probably trade anything for a nice 20 year stretch in a US supermax.

Igor Sushchin is also FSB. Interestingly, he supervises the Russian law enforcement (ha, sounds even funnier when you say it out loud) effort to suppress cybercrime. This is probably one of those things like the cops who hang out on kiddie porn sites because they are “investigating” child pornography.

Last but not least we have a luckless mope named Karim Baratov. He originally from Kazakhstan but has Canadian citizenship. He was arrested in Canada on Tuesday.

The United States does not have an extradition treaty with Russia, but officials have said that taking steps such as charges and imposing sanctions can be a deterrent. People also sometimes slip up and travel to a country that is able and willing to transfer them to the United States for prosecution.

I suppose this has some impact. If nothing else it will make those Interpol Cyber-Crime conferences Sushchin used to go to a little Gothic.