In 2014, Yahoo experienced one of the biggest data breaches in U.S corporate history. It was also the largest theft of consumer data ever reported.
After a few years of investigating, they have finally found the culprits. According to an article in the Los Angeles Times Business section, four people have been charged for hacking into 500 million Yahoo accounts including accounts belonging to diplomats, politicians, journalists, and Russian officials.
This brings some small relief to those whose accounts or finances were compromised during the Yahoo data breach.
Out of the four people who were indicted, two were Russian spies looking for secret information, one was a hacker looking for new ways to make money. A fourth person, who’s role was more limited, was arrested in Canada.
The Los Angeles Times notes that the hacker searched emails for gift card numbers as well as credit card information, all while launching an immense spam campaign. He was also able to manipulate Yahoo’s search engine to direct all search results for specific search terms to vendors that pay him commissions.
The article explains that Russia’s FSB officers used criminal hackers to gain sensitive private information, and the hackers in turn took the opportunity to make some extra money.
Justice Department officials have stated this will be the first time they’ve charged Russian security officials in a case like this. Even compared to other major data breaches, the data breach reported in September of 2014 affected a massive number of user accounts. Yahoo’s spokesperson has stated that the company believes they have been the victim of a state-sponsored attack, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Because the United States doesn’t have an extradition treaty with Moscow, it will be extremely difficult to apprehend the individuals involved. The Kremlin isn’t likely to be handing them over anytime soon.
Even if these hackers aren’t handed over to U.S officials, it is still important that the charges are filed. The article explains that by formally charging these individuals with the crimes they committed, the United States makes clear that spying and cyber-crime against the U.S. and U.S. companies will be treated seriously.
The best way to protect your network from data breaches is to get an intrusion prevention system. TITAN stops real time breaches. It gets installed before your firewall and adds a necessary layer for your security, preventing hackers from getting in.
It is also important to have cyber security consulting services on hand to ensure the continued security of your systems. If you have any questions regarding the security of your network, or the risk of your current systems, contacts us today. We want to discuss your security options with you so that you can feel safe knowing that your network is secure.