US charges two Russian spies over Yahoo hack

Prosecutor refuses to rule out link with Moscow's alleged attempt to interfere with presidential election

Yahoo’s headquarters in Sunnyvale, California
Yahoo’s headquarters in Sunnyvale, California
(Image credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Two Russian spies have been charged in the US over a massive breach of Yahoo, reports the BBC.

According to the US Department of Justice, Dmitry Dokuchaev and Igor Sushchin, both officers in Russia's Federal Security Service, conspired with criminal hackers as part of the 2014 breach that affected 500 million accounts. Two others have also been charged.

Mary McCord, acting assistant attorney general for national security, said: "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."

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The Guardian says the news comes amid "intense political controversy over Russian interference in the US election", which included a data breach of the Democratic National Committee.

McCord refused to comment on whether there was a link between the Yahoo incident and Moscow's alleged attempts to sway the White House race in favour of Donald Trump.

Yahoo said: "The indictment unequivocally shows the attacks on Yahoo were state-sponsored. We are deeply grateful to the FBI for investigating these crimes and the DOJ for bringing charges against those responsible."

The internet company was condemned for a delay in informing users about the breach, which it said saw a raft of data stolen including names, email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth and encrypted passwords, but not credit card details.

The four suspects are also alleged to have targeted Google accounts. Some users of BT and Sky email services were also hit.

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