Justice Department: Russian agents behind Yahoo cyberattack

The attack on Yahoo compromised at least half-a-billion accounts

(CNN) – The Justice Department said two Russian intelligence officers have been indicted, along with two other people, in what it calls one of the largest data breaches in history.

The cyberattack on Yahoo compromised at least half-a-billion accounts. The FBI said it was directed by a Russian officer, using “criminal cyber-mercenaries.”

The FBI said these two men are Russian spies and Wednesday night they’re wanted for pulling off one of the largest cyber thefts in us history. Accused of stealing personal and financial information from more than 500 million Yahoo users.

The Russian intelligence officers, Dmitry Dokuchaev and Igor Sushchin, were indicted today for a breach the U.S. government said stretched over two years…in both the us and Russia.

Mary B. McCord, Acting Assistant Attorney General said, “The DOJ continuing to send a powerful message that we will not allow individuals, groups, nation-states, or a combination to comprise the privacy of our citizens.”

The FBI said some of the hacked Yahoo! accounts belonged to U.S. Government officials, as well as to employees of a U.S. airline. Yahoo, which has more than a billion users worldwide cooperated with investigation and in a statement, praised the FBI and pointed to Russian involvement, writing: “The indictment unequivocally shows the attacks on Yahoo were state-sponsored.”

The scheme, allegedly directed and paid for by the two Russian spies, was allegedly carried out by two criminal hackers, including a man, Karim Baratov.

Baratov was arrested Tuesday morning in Canada. His Facebook and Instagram feeds show a passion for partying, fast cars and a love of computers, with a picture of one of his tattoos, showing it written in binary code.

Last month, he posted he was suspended from school four years ago and he cashed in said: “I was well off in high school to be able to afford driving a BMW 7 series and pay off a mortgage on my first house.”

The other man allegedly hired by the Russian spies, Alexsey Belan has evaded law enforcement around the world since 2012. Belan is listed as one of the FBI’s “most wanted” hackers. He’s indicted twice in the U.S. for computer fraud and is the subject of an outstanding Interpol red notice. Still U.S. investigators said he somehow he made it back to Russia in 2013 despite being arrested by police in Europe.

Jack Bennett said, “The FSB knew this.  There was red notices up on him and they’ve known that he’s been in their country, yet they still allowed him to operate unfettered there.”

Tonight in a strange twist one of the allegedly masterminds of the hacking, FSB officer Dokuchaev is in custody in Russia according to a defense lawyer. He’s charged with treason, according to a defense lawyer.  He’s charged with treason allegedly for working on behalf of the United States.