- Hackers stole over 500 million Yahoo emails accounts;
- Two Russian FSB officers indicted wanted;
- One hacker arrested in Canada;
The United States’ Department of Justice on Wednesday have declared four people – including two officers belonging to the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) wanted and indicted in connection to a major hack into Yahoo private data center.
The DOJ acknowledged that the hackers stole information of at least 500 million Yahoo accounts in January 2014.
According to the DOJ some of the hacked data 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 Russia government officials and private-sector employees of financial, transportation and other companies.”
The data stolen contained names, email addresses and passwords – but not financial information, according to Yahoo’s announcement regarding the breaches.
“The defendants targeted Yahoo accounts of Russian and U.S. government officials, including cyber security, diplomatic and military personnel,” said the head of the DOJ’s National Security Division, Mary McCord.
“They also targeted Russian journalists; numerous employees of other providers whose networks the conspirators sought to exploit; and employees of financial services and other commercial entities.”
The officers of the FSB – Russia’s successor to the Soviet Union’s KGB – were identified as Igor Anatolyevich Sushchin, 43, and Dmitry Aleksandrovich Dokuchaev, 33. The two allegedly 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.
The FSB officers, Dmitry Dokuchaev, and his boss, Igo Suschin, who had cover as the head of info security at a Russian financial firm, allegedly hired two hackers, Alexseyich Belan and Karim Baratov to help carry out the scheme. Baratov, a Canadian and Kazakh national, was arrested in Canada on Wednesday while the three other remain fugitives in Russia.
“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,” acting Assistant Attorney General Mary McCord said at a news conference in Washington.
The CEO of Yahoo Marrissa Mayer has publicly thanked the US authorities on Wednesday, noting that she was “very grateful” to the FBI and the DOJ.
Information available to press reveals that Yahoo at least twice has been breached and in September 2014 according to the Yahoo, the breach was state-sponsored but refused to identify culpable culprits responsible and their organizations.
Hackers in brief
Russian hacker Belan has been a fugitive and has been under the FBI’s radar since 2012 for purportedly stealing databases from three companies in 2012 initiated a sale for the information. Hackers have been known for stealing and selling information on the dark web.
In a spin, the FSB unit Dokuchaev works for, the Center for Information Security (a.k.a. Center 18), “is also the FBI’s point of contact in Moscow for cyber-crime matters,” said McCord.
“The involvement and direction of FSB officers with law enforcement responsibilities makes this conduct that much more egregious. There are no free passes for foreign state-sponsored criminal behavior,” she added.
At the request of FSB personnel, Belan allegedly led a hack invasion and stole Yahoo’s database that contained over 500 million Yahoo user contents. The team gang accessed full contents of over 6,500 Yahoo user accounts, the DOJ officials noted.
Furthermore, the FSB officers and Belan moved to hire Baratov to use the data from Yahoo accounts to gain access into 50 specific Gmail accounts, and 30 accounts belonging to other companies. Majority of these 80 targets were inside Russia.
In furtherance, the DOJ asserted that Dokuchaev and Sushchin “protected, directed, facilitated and paid criminal hackers to collect information through computer intrusions in the U.S. and elsewhere. … They worked with co-defendants Alexsey Belan and Karim Baratov to obtain access to the email accounts.”
Findings of the DOJ revealed that by late 2014, Belan allegedly stole a copy of at least a portion of Yahoo’s User Database, UDB, a Yahoo trade secret that contained, among other data, subscriber information including users’ names, recovery email accounts, phone numbers and certain information required to manually create, or ‘mint,’ account authentication web browser ‘cookies’ for more than 500 million Yahoo accounts.”
“Belan used his relationship with the two FSB officers and his access to Yahoo to commit additional crimes to line his own pockets with money,” McCord said this morning.
“Specifically, Belan used his access to Yahoo to search for and steal financial information, such as gift card and credit card numbers, from users’ email accounts.
“He also gained access to more than 30 million Yahoo accounts, whose contacts were then stolen to facilitate an email spam scheme.”
The DOJ said, “When Dokuchaev and Sushchin learned that a target of interest had accounts at webmail providers other than Yahoo, including through information obtained as part of the Yahoo intrusion, they tasked their co-conspirator, Baratov, a resident of Canada, with obtaining unauthorized access to more than 80 accounts in exchange for commissions.”
In a bid to avoid aid and abet the culprits the Department of Justice noted that during the conspiracy, the two FSB officers extended “Belan’s other criminal activities, by providing him with sensitive FSB law enforcement and intelligence information that would have helped him avoid detection by U.S.”
Source: www.stingged.com/DCMA/CNN, ABCNews