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News & Commentary

3/15/2017
07:28 PM
Craig Matsumoto
Craig Matsumoto
Craig Matsumoto
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DOJ Charges Russian Agents in Yahoo Breach

Officers of Russia's FSB led the 2014 intrusion into Yahoo's network, according to grand jury indictments.

The US Department of Justice today announced indictments brought by a California grand jury in the case of the 2014 Yahoo Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO) breach, which affected 500 million accounts. Two officers of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) -- Dmitry Dokuchaev and Igor Sushchin -- were charged, along with Alexsey Belan of Russia and Karim Baratov, a Kazakh national living in Canada.

Belan is particularly noteworthy, having made the FBI's "Cyber Most Wanted" list in 2013. He had been arrested in Europe that year but escaped before extradition, according to the DOJ press release.

Baratov was arrested yesterday in Canada on a US provisional arrest warrant, Acting Assistant Attorney General Mary B. McCord noted during a press conference today.

Today's indictments do not involve the second, larger breach that Yahoo disclosed in December. That breach affected 1 billion accounts, and Yahoo believes it's separate from the 2014 incident. (See Unknown Document 729027.)

The exposed accounts included some of "predictable interest" to the FSB, including those of Russian journalists and US and Russian government officials, the DoJ's press release states.

Due to the liability potential involved, the breaches have shaved $350 million off the Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) acquisition of Yahoo's core assets. That deal was originally priced at around $4.8 billion and is on track to close next quarter, the companies said in February. A $350 million discount is nice, but one report last fall said Verizon was hoping to take $1 billion off the price. (See Unknown Document 730456 and Unknown Document 726861.)

— Craig Matsumoto, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

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