Charges Announced in Massive Cyber Intrusion Case

The hacks at Yahoo compromised more than 1 billion user accounts.                  Justin Sullivan  Getty Images

The independent hackers are Alexsey Belan, who's on the list of most-wanted cyber criminals and who's now in Russian Federation under the state's protection, and Karim Baratov, a Canadian citizen arrested on Tuesday.

Though the Justice Department has previously charged Russian hackers with cybercrime, this is the first criminal case brought against Russian government officials. Or officials, as it were.

The indictment includes 47 counts of conspiracy to commit espionage, wire fraud, computer device fraud, and identity theft, among other crimes.

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They were said to have targeted Yahoo accounts of cybersecurity, military and diplomatic personnel as well as employees of financial services and other businesses.

The indictment comes as members of Congress are looking into both that hack, another Yahoo! breach and allegations the Russians hacked Democrats' email accounts to influence the 2016 election. After announcing the indictments US will put out another official request for their extradition, he said.

The hack of Yahoo had dual motives, the US officials said: One was to gather information on Russian journalists and USA and Russian officials, as well as employees of other computer networks to exploit, as part of more traditional spying efforts.

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On Oct. 8, 2016 - after Yahoo had revealed the data breach - Belan allegedly scoured email accounts of at least 15 people for gift cards.

An arrest of a suspect in Canada will be made as early as Tuesday, although three others are now in Russian Federation, according to the source.

On Wednesday, the FBI said that group was the Russian Federal Security Service, the FSB, and it identified agents Dmitry Dokuchaev and Igor Sushchin as leaders of the attack. The hack in question was initiated in 2014 and compromised over 500 million accounts. He was listed as one of the FBI's Cyber Most Wanted criminals in November 2013. The U.S. had issued a notice seeking his detention in July 2013, but Belan was able to escape arrest in a European country and flee to Russian Federation, where Dokuchaev and Sushchin employed him to gain access to Yahoo's network. However, given that the United States has no extradition treaty with Russian Federation, only one of the four people involved may end up facing trial. Soon enough, Yahoo beat its own record by disclosing a second attack that took place in 2013 and affected more than one billion accounts.

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