US to charge four people over Yahoo hack

James Pearce
Published on:

The Justice Department is set to bring charges against individuals in Canada and Russia linked to security breach, according to reports

The US Justice Department is set to charge four people in relation to cyber-attacks carried out against Yahoo, according to reports.

Citing a person briefed on the matter, Bloomberg claims US authorities is accusing four people, including two linked to Russian intelligence services, of participating in hacks that compromised hundreds of millions of user accounts and raised questions of Verizon’s proposed buyout of the internet firm.

One of the people was arrested in Canada, according to the reports, and is facing extradition to the US, while three of the suspects are reportedly in Russia. None were named due to legal reasons.

The charges will include hacking, wire fraud, trade secret theft, and economic espionage, according to the Washington Post. It will be the largest hacking case brought by the United States, the Post claims.

Yahoo revealed it had been hit by two separate data breaches, one in 2013 and another the following year, that ultimately helped Verizon negotiate a $350 million discount on its $4.8 billion takeover of Yahoo.

The 2013 hack led to up to one billion customer accounts being compromised, and is understood to be one of the largest publicly-disclosed breaches in history. The 2014 attack, which was the first to be revealed just weeks after Yahoo had agreed terms with Verizon, saw up to 500 million accounts compromised.

The hacks led Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, who is in line for a $23 million payout should she be forced out once the Verizon deal is completed, to forgo any cash bonus.