Canadian charged in Massive Yahoo Hack

The United States charged four people in connection with a Yahoo hack Wednesday.  The group includes two Russian Intelligence Officers, and a man living in the US with connections to Russia.

The fourth man is Karim Baratov.  Baratov holds dual Canadian- Kazakh citizenship.  He was arrested in Ancaster, Ontario Tuesday. Baratov is known as an exotic car buff described as being “very secret about his life” by Mike Le, owner of All In Detailings in Mississauga.   Le worked on an Aston Martin for Baratov.

Le says Baratov once mentioned doing some “computer geek stuff.”  Links on his Facebook profile go to a Russian language website offering servers with any configuration.  One post details a personal story about being suspended from school.  It was the suspension that allowed him to “work on online projects 24/7.”  He bragged about making enough money to pay off the mortgage on his first house, and buy a BMW 7 series.

According to media reports, police were at Baratov’s home Tuesday.  He made a brief  court appearance Wednesday, and was returned to custody.  Toronto Police Service (TPS) were asked to help locate Baratov.  They have turned the suspect over to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP)

The other three charged are identified as FSB agents Dmitry Aleksandrovich Dokuchaev, 33, and Igor Anatolyevich Sushchin, 43.  The US resident is identified as Alexsey Alexseyvich Belan, 29.

The four face charges in connection with a hacking incident of approximately 500 million Yahoo accounts beginning as early as 2014.  The four are indicted on charges that include Conspiracy to commit computer fraud and abuse, economic espionage, and Aggravated Identity theft.  Yahoo only began notifying users in September, 2016.

“We will not allow individuals, groups, nation states or a combination of them to compromise the privacy of our citizens, the economic interests of our companies or the security of our country,” acting assistant attorney general Mary McCord said at news conference announcing the arrests.

Yahoo’s assistant general counsel and head of global security thanked law enforcement agencies for their efforts.  “We’re committed to keeping our users and our platforms secure and will continue to engage with law enforcement to combat cybercrime,” he said.