US law enforcement agencies issued joint charges against two FSB officers and two hackers who collaborated with them. They detail how Russian siloviki used hackers for their own purposes, including hacking Russian journalists and officials.
In accusations signed by representatives of the US Justice Department and the FBI, it really is about Dmitry Dokuchaev, Igor Sushchine and Alexei Belane, as previously reported . The fourth accused – a 22-year-old Kazakh hacker, Karim Baratov, who lived in Canada – also engaged in hacking at the request of the FSB.
Baratov and Belan obtained access to accounts on Gmail, Yahoo and other services. He was involved in stealing 500 million Yahoo accounts, sending spam to the database of 30 million addresses, and directly accessing the content of at least 18 users of other services.
According to the investigation, some of the hacked users were of interest to the FSB, Russian intelligence and law enforcement agencies. It was about journalists, American and Russian officials, employees of “an influential Russian company dealing with cybersecurity.” Their names are not disclosed.
According to the charge, the accused entered into a criminal conspiracy as early as 2014. Access to Yahoo accounts they had until September 2016, but even until December continued to use stolen data.
Baratov received a commission for hacking. Belan used the stolen data, including in order to use them to steal money from the accounts of the victims. Patrons from the FSB assisted him, providing internal information, which, among other things, allowed the hacker to hide from the US authorities, knowing the FBI’s methods for identifying cybercriminals.
In total, 47 charges were brought against four of the defendants for 14 crimes. Dokuchaev, Sushchev and Belan are the main figures, and the maximum sentence they can receive is about 300 years in prison. At the same time, the charges against Baratov are threatened only 9.5 years in prison.
It is known about the detention of only two people from the list of accused. Dokoutchaev was arrested by the Russian authorities in December 2016 in the case of the state treason. Belan, according to US law enforcement agencies, was arrested in 2013 in a European country at the request of the US, but he managed to escape to Russia, where there is no extradition.
Baratov was arrested on March 14 in Canada, and now the US authorities expect him to be extradited on a procedure. The location and status of Belan and Sushchina are unknown.