The U.S. Justice Department has announced that four people, including one Canadian, have been indicted in the theft of information of at least 500 million Yahoo accounts.
Two of them are officers of the Russian Federal Security Service: Dmitry Dokuchaev and Igor Sushchin.
According to acting assistant attorney general Mary B. McCord, they worked with co-conspirators Alexsey Belan and Karim Batatov "to hack into computers of American companies providing email and Internet-related services, to maintain unauthorized access to those computers and to steal information, including information about individual users and the private contents of their accounts".
Baratov is citizen of Canada and was reportedly born in Kazakhstan. The Ontario resident was arrested on March 14 in Canada, according to McCord.
"The defendants targeted Yahoo accounts of Russian and U.S. government officials, including cyber security, diplomatic and military personnel," McCord said. "They also targeted Russian journalists; numerous employees of other providers whose networks the conspirators sought to exploit; and employees of financial services and other commercial entities."
The Russian Federal Security Service, a.k.a. the FSB, is the Russian Federation's successor to the KGB, which employed President Vladimir Putin before he became a politician.
"The involvement and direction of FSB officers with law enforcement responsibilities makes this conduct that much more egregious," McCord said. "There are no free passes for foreign state-sponsored criminal behaviour."