On Wednesday, the Justice Department charged two Russian intelligence officials. They were reportedly the ones behind the giant data breach which hit Yahoo in 2014. At the time, they stole about 500 million accounts from the company. Many considered that to have been the most serious such hack in the history of technology. This latest action weakens the relations between the United States and Russia even more. According to reports, Russia used all the information which the two agents and other two men stole from Yahoo to spy on lots of people. The White House, some banks executives and even an airline were reportedly among those victims.
The Russian factor
According to the Justice Department, this is the very first time that Russian officials have been charged for cybercrime. However, the United States has accused Russia of other similar crimes in the past. For example, the emails which hackers stole last year from the Democratic National Committee. One of the most shocking details in regards with this situation is the fact that the two officials behind the breach worked for Russia’s Federal Security Service. More precisely, for an arm of the service which is supposed to catch cybercriminals. However, it seems like Dmitry Aleksandrovich Dokuchaev and Igor Anatolyevich Sushchin instead did the opposite and covered the traces of the hackers.
Other two Russian hackers took part in the breach, according to the report. One of them was already involved in another case comprising of three other computer network intrusions. The other was the mastermind behind a big spamming operation. He stole credit card information too. Moreover, he made some Yahoo users who were looking for drugs for erectile dysfunction to an affiliated pharmacy. So, those two recidivist hackers were the hands that executed the massive operation. All while the two intelligence agents were the masterminds behind it all.
Moscow has no reaction
According to a spokesman for the Russian embassy in Washington, the Russian capital did not have any official reaction until this point. However, on Wednesday, Sputnik News published two articles which talked about the “truth” behind those charges and seemed highly skeptical. One of the two Russian officials, Dmitry Dokuchaev, was supposedly arrested back in December. Him, along with another officer were accused at the time of passing secret information to the United States. However, officials from the United States stated that they have yet find out for sure if that Dmitry Dokuchaev is the same one with this official from Wednesday’s action. There might all be a coincidence.
The authorities arrested only one of the two hackers who executed the plan, Karim Baratov. They caught him in Canada, on Tuesday. As for the other three, there are slim chances for the authorities to catch them any time soon. Mostly because the United States’ extradition treaty with Russia is non-existent. This latest action is part of a bigger series of such acts that the United States authorities have executed since 2014. Since then, they have caught numerous cybercriminals who were working for foreign governments like China, Iran or even North Korea.
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