Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Threat Intelligence

10/19/2016
05:50 PM
Connect Directly
Twitter
LinkedIn
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Alleged Hacker Behind 2012 LinkedIn Breach Nabbed In Prague

Czech judge to decide on US extradition request.

The alleged hacker behind a 2012 cyberattack on LinkedIn who is thought to have exposed some 117 million usernames and passwords has been arrested in Prague, in the Czech Republic.

The Czech police announced the arrest Tuesday without specifying when the incident had actually taken place. In a statement, the Czech authorities noted they had worked with the FBI in making the arrest.

The statement did not name the individual who was arrested, but described him as a Russian citizen suspected of hacking targets in the US. The statement alluded to the individual driving around in a luxury car with his girlfriend.

The arrest took place in a hotel in the heart of the city with the suspect offering no resistance. The Czech police statement said the alleged hacker was so surprised by his arrest that he collapsed shortly later and had to be briefly hospitalized for further treatment.

An uncorroborated video posted on Heavy.com Wednesday purported to show Czech authorities making the arrest. The face of the youthful-looking, camouflage jacket-clad individual who is arrested is digitally blurred and so is that of a woman seated next to him at a table in what appears to be a restaurant.

A judge in the Municipal Court in Prague will now decide whether the individual will be extradited to the US, the statement said.

A FBI spokesperson confirmed the arrest Wednesday but offered no other details. “Unfortunately, the underlying case remains under seal, and we don’t expect it to be unsealed in the near future,” the spokeperson said.

LinkedIn confirmed that the man arrested in Prague is believed to be one of those responsible for the 2012 data breach.

"Following the 2012 breach of LinkedIn member information, we have remained actively involved with the FBI's case to pursue those responsible,” a LinkedIn spokesperson said. “We are thankful for the hard work and dedication of the FBI in its efforts to locate and capture the parties believed to be responsible for this criminal activity."

With no information officially available on the arrested individual, it is unclear if the person in custody is the hacker using the name “Peace,” who earlier this year put the stolen LinkedIn usernames and passwords up for sale on The Real Deal underground marketplace for about $2,200.

In comments to Motherboard at the time, Peace had boasted the data was stolen from LinkedIn in 2012.

When news of the alleged Russian hacker’s arrest first broke this week, there was some speculation that authorities had managed to track down the individual responsible for the attack on the Democratic National Committee (DNC) website.

However, an DOJ official on background said there is no connection between this week’s arrest in Prague and the attack on the DNC website.

The arrest marks another success for the FBI in getting foreign law enforcement authorities to nab hackers who would have otherwise been out of reach for them. But it is also sure to ratchet up tensions between the US and Russia on the issue of cybersecurity and hacking attacks.

In recent year,s the US has accused Russia of backing cyberattackers who have broken into various government and private sector networks including those at the White House and the US State Department. More recently the Obama Administration,formally named Russia as the actor behind the recent attacks on the DNC and of attempting to tamper with US electronic voting systems. The government has said it is mulling a proportional response to the alleged Russian cyber activity.

For its part, Russian authorities have denied involvement in the attacks and have previously described arrests of its citizens, such as the one that took place this week, as illegal.

The Russian Embassy in Prague has apparently asked Czech authorities that the suspect be released to Russian custody, the New York Times reported. Russia is sure to fight all attempts to extradite the hacker to the US as well.

Related stories:

 

Jai Vijayan is a seasoned technology reporter with over 20 years of experience in IT trade journalism. He was most recently a Senior Editor at Computerworld, where he covered information security and data privacy issues for the publication. Over the course of his 20-year ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
For Cybersecurity to Be Proactive, Terrains Must Be Mapped
Craig Harber, Chief Technology Officer at Fidelis Cybersecurity,  10/8/2019
A Realistic Threat Model for the Masses
Lysa Myers, Security Researcher, ESET,  10/9/2019
USB Drive Security Still Lags
Dark Reading Staff 10/9/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
7 Threats & Disruptive Forces Changing the Face of Cybersecurity
This Dark Reading Tech Digest gives an in-depth look at the biggest emerging threats and disruptive forces that are changing the face of cybersecurity today.
Flash Poll
2019 Online Malware and Threats
2019 Online Malware and Threats
As cyberattacks become more frequent and more sophisticated, enterprise security teams are under unprecedented pressure to respond. Is your organization ready?
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2019-17593
PUBLISHED: 2019-10-14
JIZHICMS 1.5.1 allows admin.php/Admin/adminadd.html CSRF to add an administrator.
CVE-2019-17594
PUBLISHED: 2019-10-14
There is a heap-based buffer over-read in the _nc_find_entry function in tinfo/comp_hash.c in the terminfo library in ncurses before 6.1-20191012.
CVE-2019-17595
PUBLISHED: 2019-10-14
There is a heap-based buffer over-read in the fmt_entry function in tinfo/comp_hash.c in the terminfo library in ncurses before 6.1-20191012.
CVE-2019-14823
PUBLISHED: 2019-10-14
A flaw was found in the "Leaf and Chain" OCSP policy implementation in JSS' CryptoManager versions after 4.4.6, 4.5.3, 4.6.0, where it implicitly trusted the root certificate of a certificate chain. Applications using this policy may not properly verify the chain and could be vulnerable to...
CVE-2019-17592
PUBLISHED: 2019-10-14
The csv-parse module before 4.4.6 for Node.js is vulnerable to Regular Expression Denial of Service. The __isInt() function contains a malformed regular expression that processes large crafted input very slowly. This is triggered when using the cast option.