The United States Justice Department has announced their plans to initiate charges against those responsible for the data breach of Yahoo.
The breach was responsible for 500 million compromised Yahoo user accounts back in 2014, and it affected the deals between Yahoo and Verizon.
This will be the first United States cybercriminal charge to be filed against Russian officials since Russia is suspected to be part of the data breach, says The Washington Post. The formal accusation names two members of the Russian intelligence agency’s FSB, as well as two individual hackers who were hired by the Russian groups.
What Are the Charges?
The accusations against Russia and their associated hackers include hacking, wire fraud, trade secrets theft, and espionage. The indictments are the largest hacking case ever brought by the country.
Hackers responsible for the Yahoo breach stole data that included account holder names, addresses, and passwords. However, Yahoo reassures the public that financial information does not appear in that data breach.
The DOJ and San Francisco FBI have been working on the case, and they are scheduled to host a press conference late March 15th to discuss the charges against the Russians and hackers associated with the Yahoo data breach.
Yahoo has received two data breaches, but the state has not identified who they think was responsible for the second. The announcement of an intrusion by Russian hackers was found at a time the country was already in a delicate situation with Russia hacking and cyber crimes.
No Extradition with Russia
While the charges affect independent hackers in Russia, the United States does not have an extradition treaty in place with Russia. However, officials state that they are taking steps that allow them to impose sanctions and charges that will encourage Russia to extradite the hackers. Also, officials are hoping that the hackers and public servants may travel to a country that is willing to transfer them to the United States.
This is one of the first cases in which the United States has substantial evidence that Russia was behind an attack. There are numerous other cyber-attacks that the United States feels Russia was a part of, but they do not have concrete evidence as they do with the Yahoo case.
The charges illustrate the Russian intel issue and how it affects the United States.
Verizon Still to Buy Yahoo, But at a Discount
The data breaches almost put a permanent halt to the agreement between Verizon and Yahoo. However, after a revised agreement, Verizon will still purchase Yahoo, but with a $350 million discount over the original offer. Now, Verizon is estimated to buy Yahoo for only $4.48 billion.
What About the Election?
While Russia has been tied to the hacking of Yahoo, officials still do not have concrete evidence that links Russia to the political hacking suspected of Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta, or the hacking of the Democratic National Committee. If evidence is present, it has not been publicly announced or released.