THE US JUSTICE DEPARTMENT has formally charged two Russian spies and two criminal hackers in connection with the high-profile hack on Yahoo that saw 500 million accounts compromised.
The indictments target two members of the Russian intelligence agency FSB, marking the first US criminal cyber charges ever against Russian government officials. The indicted FSB officers are named as Dmitry Dokuchaev and Igor Sushchin, his superior.
Two hackers allegedly hired by the Russian government have indicted: Alexsey Belan from Russia, who is on the list of most-wanted cyber criminals, and Karim Baratov, who was born in Kazakhstan but has Canadian citizenship. Baratov was arrested in Canada on Tuesday.
"There are no free passes for foreign, state-sponsored criminal behavior," Assistant Attorney General McCord said at a press conference.
The Washington Post notes that charges will include wire fraud, trade secret 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.
Yahoo has been repeatedly the subject of successful cyber attacks, with the company falling victim to hackers in both in 2012 and 2014. The company was accused of not fully disclosing the extent of the breaches after more details emerged while the terms of the acquisition by Verizon was still being negotiated.
That disrupted the sale process and, as a result, Verizon was able to extract a $350m discount on the price it had initially agreed to pay at auction in July 2016.
The security scandals also meant a drastic cut in the pay-off due to Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer after the deal had been concluded. She was expected to be given a ‘golden parachute' worth $55m but, instead, has had to make do with a pay-off of ‘only' $23m.We'll update this article as we hear more. µ
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