The United States Justice Department charged two Russian intelligence officers

The United States Justice Department charged two Russian intelligence officers on Wednesday with directing a massive criminal conspiracy that stole data on 500 million Yahoo accounts in 2014.
By Tracy Williams | Mar 16, 2017
The United States Justice Department charged two Russian intelligence officers on Wednesday with directing a massive criminal conspiracy that stole data on 500 million Yahoo accounts in 2014.

The Russian government used the information obtained by the intelligence officers and other co-conspirators to spy on several targets, including the White House, military officials, bank executives, two American cloud computing companies, an airline, and a gambling regulator in Nevada.

According to federal prosecutors, the stolen information was also used to spy on Russian government officials and business executives.

The Kremlin has been accused of executing other cyber hack attacks in the United States, most notably the theft of emails last year from the Democratic National Committee.

According to the Justice Department, the Yahoo case is the first time that federal prosecutors have charged Russian Intelligence officers with cyber crime.

American investigators are especially angry when they found out that the two Russians who were in charge of the scheme, Dmitry Aleksandrovich, and Igor Anatolyevich Sushchin, worked for an arm of the Russian Federal Security Service, FSB, whose role is to help foreign intelligence agencies arrest cybercriminals.

Instead, the two agents assisted hackers in avoiding detection.

"The involvement and direction FSB officers with law enforcement responsibilities makes this conduct that much more egregious," said Mary B. McCord, the assistant attorney general, during a press conference.

Yahoo disclosed the theft of its data in September and stated that it was working with law enforcement agencies to arrest the perpetrators.

In a statement on Wednesday, Yahoo thanked the FBI and the Justice Department for their commendable work.

Nikolai Lakhonin, the spokesperson for the Russian Embassy in Washington, said that the Kremlin had no "official reaction" to the indictments.

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