A Canadian national, who conspired with and helped Russia’s spy service The FSB, has pleaded guilty in a massive hack of Yahoo at 2014, the US Department of Justice said in a statement.
Karim Baratov, 22, pleaded guilty to charges returned by a grand jury in the Northern District of California in February 2017. Baratov and three additional defendants, including two officers.
According to prosecutors, FSB officers Dmitry Dokuchaev and Igor Sushchin led the hack and contracted Baratov.
As per his plea arrangement, Baratov’s function from the billed conspiracy was to hack on webmail accounts of people of attention to the FSB and ship these accounts’ passwords to Dokuchaev in exchange for money.
As mentioned in the indictment, other three compromised Yahoo’s network and gained the capability to access Yahoo accounts. When they desired access to individual webmail accounts at a number of other online service providers, such as Google and Yandex (based in Russia), Dokuchaev tasked Baratov to undermine those accounts.
The agency noted that Baratov not only admitted to his hacking actions on behalf of his own co-conspirators in the FSB, but also to hacking more than 11,000 webmail accounts in complete on behalf of the FSB conspirators and other customers from in or around 2010 before his March 2017 arrest by Canadian authorities.
According to his testimony, Baratov advertised his services on Russian-language sites. He confessed that he generally spearphished his victims, sending them emails from reports he established to appear to belong to the webmail provider at which the victim’s account was hosted.
Included in the plea arrangement, along with any prison sentence, Baratov agreed to pay restitution to his victims and to pay a fine per count, with any assets he’s remaining after fulfilling a restitution award.
Baratov waived extradition from Canada and is being arrested in California without bail.
Baratov’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for Feb. 20, 2018, Francisco.