FSB officer suspected of treason at home charged with Yahoo! breach in U.S.
Dmitry Dokuchaev, a lead investigator in the 2nd Operational Control Division of the Information Security Center of the Federal Security Service (FSB) of the Russian Federation, is among the hackers indicted by the U.S. Department of Justice for cyber attack on Yahoo!
According to the Washington Post, Dokuchaev, his boss Igor Sushchin, and two hackers – Aleksei Belan and Karim Baratov – are suspected of stealing more than 500 million e-mail accounts on Yahoo! On March 16, 2016, the Department of Justice has announced charges laid against them.
In particular, the U.S. Department of Justice has charged the four defendants with hackers operations, swindling, and economic spying.
Reuters has reported, citing Mary McCord, the Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security, that Dokuchaev and Sushchin had provided certain information to Belan, which allowed him to avoid being caught by American law enforcement authorities. The hacker, in turn, had used the stolen account information to “line his own pockets with money”. Belan and other suspects had access to the accounts until fall 2016, and in winter they stopped using the stolen data.
Dokuchaev, who used to be a hacker himself, had served until recently as a lead investigator in the 2nd Operational Control Division of the FSB Information Security Center. Currently he is in custody on suspicion of treason.
In November 2016, Novaya Gazeta wrote that Dokuchaev was linked with Shaltay-Boltay (Humpty Dumpty) hacker group. Allegedly, he maintained contacts with the hackers under the nickname Forb or participated in cyber attacks himself – while Sergei Mikhailov, his boss and Head of the 2nd Operational Control Division of the Information Security Center, had supervised these operations.
WP clams that the probe into the Yahoo! breach is unrelated to the FBI attempts to link the Russian hackers with presidential campaign in the U.S.
Yahoo! had reported the data theft in fall 2014. “State-sponsored breaches and thefts become more and more common in the tech industry,” – Yahoo! has noted. The stolen database included user names, e-mails, phone numbers, logins, passwords, and other personal data.
A Wall Street Journal source has reported in September 2016 that the hackers who had breached into Yahoo! servers were interested in personal information of specific users running business in Russia. According to the source, the attack had been performed from Russian addresses.
The U.S. authorities suspect Aleksei Belan of thefts of major corporate client databases and identification data. The FBI has offered a prize of $100 thousand for information on his location. Belan is on the sanction list signed by former U.S. President Barack Obama.
Baratov is a native of Kazakhstan; he has got a Canadian passport. Earlier this week he has been arrested in Canada.