yahooRussian spies responsible for Yahoo hack

Wednesday morning, the Department of Justice announced that indictments have been made in connection to a massive hack of Yahoo information. Four people including two officers of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) allegedly hacked into and affected at least 500 million Yahoo accounts stealing personal information for users of that web service. The theft of personal information occurred in January of 2014.

According to the Justice Department, in a statement said that the stolen information was used to “obtain unauthorized access to the contents of accounts at Yahoo, Google and other webmail providers, including accounts of Russian journalists, US and Russian government officials and private-sector employees of financial, transportation and other companies.” The DOJ names two officers of the FSB, the spy agency that has taken the place of the KGB, as Anatolyevich Sushchin, 43, and Dmitry Aleksandrovich Dokuchaev, 33.

The DOJ believes that the two Russians spies conspired with Russian national Alexsey Alexseyevich Belan, aka “Magg,” 29, and Karim Baratov, aka “Kay,” “Karim Taloverov” and “Karim Akehmet Tokbergenov,” 22, who is a resident of Canada. Dokuchaev was arrested in a Russian sweep in December and accused of spying for the US.

Assistant Attorney General Mary McCord, at the news conference in Washington Wednesday that, “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 cybercrime matters — is beyond the pale.” McCord stated that the alleged hackers stole Yahoo data which included names, email addresses and passwords but McCord stated that financial information was not stolen. Yahoo EO Marissa Mayer publicly thanked US authorities Wednesday, saying she was “very grateful” to the FBI and DOJ. Yahoo has been breached at least twice, and the company previously said a September 2014 breach was state-sponsored but declined to identify who it believed was responsible.

This alleged hacking by Russian authorities comes at a delicate time between the two countries. There is an investigation into what the Russians knew and did during the 2016 Presidential election. There is also investigations in what the Trump campaign knew or if they were aware of Russian influence in the campaign. The Russians have been proven to have hacked into the Democratic National Committee’s emails including Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta.