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Two Russian spies among four people charged by US DoJ in connection with Yahoo! hack

When Yahoo! reported the hack last fall, it was thought to be the biggest data breach in history, affecting more than 500mln user accounts
lock key on a keyboard representing cyber security
The indictments are unrelated to the reported hacking of Democratic National Committee during the 2016 presidential campaign

The US Department of Justice has charged two Russian spies and two criminal hackers in connection with the massive cyber-attack on Yahoo! Inc (NASDAQ:YHOO) back in 2014.

The huge data breach impacted at least 500mln Yahoo! email accounts, including those of Russian and US officials, Russian journalists and various business men and women.

The indictments, announced in a press conference on Wednesday evening, target two members of the Russian intelligence agency, FSB, as well as two other hackers allegedly hired by the Russians.

The charges brought against FSB officers Dmitry Dokuchaev and Igor Sushchin, as well as criminal hackers Alexseyevich Belan and Canadian-born Karim Baratov, include hacking, wire fraud and trade secret theft.

The indictments are unrelated to the reported hacking of the Democratic National Committee during the 2016 presidential campaign, the DoJ said.

The United States doesn’t have an extradition treaty with Russia, so unless the alleged hackers either give themselves up or accidentally visit a country which would transfer them to the US, the four men are unlikely to face further action.

Instead, the DoJ said taking steps such as charges and imposing sanctions can act as a deterrent.

Yahoo! – which has just been bought out by Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) for almost US$5bn – only reported the cyber-attack last fall.

At that time, it was thought to be the biggest data breach in history, although Yahoo! quickly topped its own record when it revealed that more than 1bn user accounts had been hacked in 2013.

Shares in Yahoo! gained 0.3%, or US$0.13, to US$46.40.



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February 15 2017
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