Menu
Four charged, including Russian gov't agents, for massive Yahoo hack

Four charged, including Russian gov't agents, for massive Yahoo hack

Hackers targeted Yahoo accounts of officials for intelligence and financial gain, says US government

IDG

IDG

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation has charged four people, including two Russian state intelligence agents, for their involvement in a massive hack of Yahoo that affected half a billion accounts.

In September, Yahoo said hackers had managed to steal personal data on more than 500 million users during an attack in late 2014. The stolen data included names, email addresses, telephone numbers and hashed passwords. Blame for the attack was put on a "state-sponsored" group.

On Wednesday, the FBI said that group was the Russian Federal Security Service, the FSB, and it identified agents Dmitry Dokuchaev and Igor Sushchin as leaders of the attack.

The Russian agents paid two criminal hackers, Alexsey Belan and Karim Baratov, to break into the Yahoo accounts and then steal information that could be used to further compromise other accounts, according to the FBI.

The hackers specifically targeted the Yahoo accounts of Russian and U.S. government officials, including those involved with cybersecurity, Russian journalists and financial services companies, the FBI said.

But they also attacked the accounts of regular users, looking for things like credit card numbers and gift cards that they could cash in.

"The FSB used hackers to gain information, some of which had intelligence value, but in doing so the criminal hackers used this opportunity to line their own pockets for financial gain," said Mary McCord, acting assistant attorney general, during a Washington, D.C., news conference.

Three of those named are at large but one, Baratov, was arrested in Canada on Tuesday on a U.S. warrant. The other alleged criminal hacker, Belan, has been charged twice before in the U.S.

The U.S. has requested that Interpol issue red notices for those at large, but unless the Russian government decides to cooperate they could easily remain beyond the arm of international law.

However, the U.S. government has a number of tools at its disposal including diplomatic and trade sanctions that could be used to pressure or punish Russia.

The hack was just one of two massive data breaches suffered by Yahoo. A second, disclosed in December, was even bigger, affecting a billion accounts. It included much of the same information but also birth dates. The passwords stolen in this hack were obfuscated in MD5, an old algorithm that can be hacked. Yahoo blamed the larger breach on an "unauthorized third party."

Russian state security has been blamed for a series of hacks including the high profile attack on the Democratic National Committee during the recent U.S. election. McCord said Wednesday's indictment does not allege any links between the Yahoo hack and the DNC hacks.


Follow Us

Join the New Zealand Reseller News newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Featured

Slideshows

Sizing up the NZ security spectrum - Where's the channel sweet spot?

Sizing up the NZ security spectrum - Where's the channel sweet spot?

From new extortion schemes, outside threats and rising cyber attacks, the art of securing the enterprise has seldom been so complex or challenging. With distance no longer a viable defence, Kiwi businesses are fighting to stay ahead of the security curve. In total, 28 per cent of local businesses faced a cyber attack last year, with the number in New Zealand set to rise in 2017. Yet amidst the sensationalism, media headlines and ongoing high profile breaches, confusion floods the channel, as partners seek strategic methods to combat rising sophistication from attackers. In sizing up the security spectrum, this Reseller News roundtable - in association with F5 Networks, Kaspersky Lab, Tech Data, Sophos and SonicWall - assessed where the channel sweet spot is within the New Zealand channel. Photos by Maria Stefina.

Sizing up the NZ security spectrum - Where's the channel sweet spot?
Kiwi channel comes together for another round of After Hours

Kiwi channel comes together for another round of After Hours

The channel came together for another round of After Hours, with a bumper crowd of distributors, vendors and partners descending on The Jefferson in Auckland. Photos by Maria Stefina.​

Kiwi channel comes together for another round of After Hours
Consegna comes to town with AWS cloud offerings launch in Auckland

Consegna comes to town with AWS cloud offerings launch in Auckland

Emerging start-up Consegna has officially launched its cloud offerings in the New Zealand market, through a kick-off event held at Seafarers Building in Auckland.​ Founded in June 2016, the Auckland-based business is backed by AWS and supported by a global team of cloud specialists, leveraging global managed services partnerships with Rackspace locally.

Consegna comes to town with AWS cloud offerings launch in Auckland
Show Comments