What just happened? One of four men with ties to Yahoo's security breach have been brought to justice. The other three, including two officers of the Russian Federal Security Service, remain at large.
A Toronto man has been sentenced to five years in prison and ordered to pay a $250,000 fine for unwittingly working with a Russian spy agency and using data stolen from Yahoo’s massive security breach to gain access to private e-mail accounts.
Karim Baratov, a 23-year-old “international hacker for hire,” pleaded guilty to nine felony hacking charges last November. Baratov, who was born in Kazakhstan but lived in Toronto, reportedly charged customers $100 to hack into web-based e-mail accounts.
Prosecutors said Russia’s Federal Security Service paid Baratov to hack into at least 80 e-mail accounts.
Assistant Attorney General Demers said criminal hackers and the countries that sponsor them make a grave mistake when they target American companies and citizens, adding that they will identify them wherever they are and bring them to justice.
Baratov was arrested in Canada in March 2017 and transferred to the Northern District of California in August. He has been in custody since his arrest and is the only one of four individuals arrested thus far after being charged by the U.S. Justice Department last year.
Prosecutors believe the two Russian spies, Dmitry Aleksandrovich Dokuchaev and Igor Anatolyevich, are living in Russia. The country does not have an extradition treaty in place with the US.
Baratov reportedly told U.S. Judge Vince Chhabria that his time served in jail has been an eye-opening and humbling experience and vowed to become a “better man” upon release. He will likely be deported once his time has been served, the judge said.
Image courtesy Ritchie B. Tongo, European Press Photo Agency