The U.S. has charged Russian Federal Security officers with hacking Yahoo along with millions of email accounts in what is being called one of the largest data breaches in U.S. history.
Paul Abbate, FBI executive assistant director, criminal, cyber, response and services division, said at the conference that the charges show that the US intends to find and prosecute hackers that target USA citizens or companies.
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. Acting Assistant Attorney General McCord explained the unit the officers were from is also the FBI's point of contact in Moscow for cyber-crimes.
The Department of Justice charged Beylan with 47 counts as a result of his involvement in the Yahoo hack, including charges of conspiracy, computer fraud and abuse, economic espionage, theft of trade secrets, wire fraud, access device fraud and aggravated identity fraud.
KitGuru Says: The initial hack here happened way back in 2014, so it has taken quite some time for this investigation to come to a conclusion. The company was accused of not fully disclosing the extent of the breaches after more details emerged while the terms of the acquisition by Verizon was still being negotiated.
The announcement of the charges came shortly after the United States officials said they continue to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election through hacking.
The massive 1bn-account data breach was one of the biggest in history and nearly derailed the $3.8bn takeover of Yahoo by Verizon, shaving $350m off the price tag. "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".
Three months later, Yahoo revealed it had uncovered a separate hack in 2013 affecting about 1 billion accounts, including some that were also hit in 2014.
The stolen data included names, email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth and encrypted passwords, but not credit card data, according to Yahoo.
The indictments come as USA officials are still investigating possible Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Chris Madsen, Yahoo's assistant general counsel, said the company was "deeply grateful" to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and U.S. Department of Justice for bringing charges against those responsible for the attack.
Yahoo! agreed to cut the price Verizon is paying to buy the company by $350 million in light of its two breaches.
In a statement, Chris Madsen, Yahoo's assistant general counsel told the Associated Press, "We're committed to keeping our users and our platforms secure and will continue to engage with law enforcement to combat cybercrime".