In investigating the Russian interference and hacking of the 2016 presidential election, the Justice Department discovered new information and is planning to charge four defendants, including one Canadian individual, and two officers of Russian security services for the mega data breach at Yahoo, Inc; which occurred as early as 2014, but wasn’t disclosed by Yahoo until last September.
The attack affected more than half a billion user accounts, with original targets intended for the email accounts of Russian and US officials, Russian journalists and employees of financial services, and other businesses. This is the first criminal case officially brought against Russian government officials, despite a previous cybercrime charge by the Justice Department against Russian hackers sponsored by Chinese and Iranian governments.
Acting Assistant Attorney General Mary McCord says,
“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”
Although Yahoo has since beefed up their security and asked users to recreate their passwords and security questions, the breach has resulted in millions of dollars in legal and investigative costs, and spurred more than 40 lawsuits. Yahoo continues to work alongside The Federal Trade Commission, US Securities and Exchange Commission, the Manhattan US Attorney’s Office, and two state attorneys general in prevention of further breaches and related inquiries.
#PressPlay to view Acting Assistant Attorney General Mary McCord speak on the Department of Justice’s behalf.