Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Attacks/Breaches

Hacker Sentenced to 5 Years in Yahoo Credential Theft Case

Karim Baratov given prison time and seven-figure fine after guilty plea in the massive Yahoo data breach

One of the most prominent computer hacking cases in recent years reached a new chapter as Karim Baratov was sentenced to five years in prison and fined an amount equivalent to his remaining assets. Baratov, a Kazakhstan-born Canadian citizen, was sentenced for his role in the massive Yahoo credentials breach that exposed more than 1 billion records to criminals.

Karim Baratov, aka Kay, aka Karim Taloverov, aka Karim Akehmet Tokbergenov, pleaded guilty to nine charges stemming from the breaches. In addition, he admitted to attempting to hack at least 80 Web mail accounts on behalf of co-conspirators, and to hacking more than 11,000 webmail accounts in total from 2010 through March of 2017.

Baratov was one of four individuals charged in the case, the other three being Russian citizens including two officers of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB). The other three indicted co-conspirators are Dmitry Aleksandrovich Dokuchaev, Igor Anatolyevich Sushchin, and Alexsey Alexseyevich Belan, (aka Magg, one the FBI's most-wanted cybercriminals), all of whom are currently living in Russia.

Officials from the Department of Justice said in statements that the sentence reflects the serious nature of both the crimes and the way that the DoJ views nation-state sponsored criminal hacking. Baratov was a "hacker for hire" who became a resource of the FSB when it came to gathering credentials that could be used for further breaches.

In pre-sentencing motions, Baratov's lawyers had argued that his mercenary nature made him less culpable for his crime, because he didn't know that he was being hired by the FSB — he would hack an account for anyone. Baratov had claimed that most of his customers were individuals looking for information about the online habits of spouses or lovers, though Department of Justice prosecutors argued that the FSB's request for 80 sets of credentials made the claim less credible in this case.

Ultimately, Baratov was given a sentence that, while lengthy for a cybercrime, was less than the maximum possible under the law. The government had argued for a longer sentence on the grounds that nation-state hacking must be considered more serious than "average" criminal activity.

Related Content:

Curtis Franklin Jr. is Senior Editor at Dark Reading. In this role he focuses on product and technology coverage for the publication. In addition he works on audio and video programming for Dark Reading and contributes to activities at Interop ITX, Black Hat, INsecurity, and ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
REISEN1955
50%
50%
REISEN1955,
User Rank: Ninja
6/4/2018 | 12:37:59 PM
Re: Nation State Hacking
Agree in nature of Yahoo - a fading search engine and right up there with anyone who has --- yes, they still do - an AOL email account.   
RyanSepe
50%
50%
RyanSepe,
User Rank: Ninja
5/31/2018 | 3:20:30 PM
Nation State Hacking
While I agree that nation state hacking needs to be handled more stringently than private campaigns, I still think proposing a less than maximum sentence fits the crime. I think we need to keep in perspective what was stolen. Yahoo accounts really don't provide individuals with up front sensitive data. This would need to be gleaned through a deep dive of each individual account. 
DevSecOps: The Answer to the Cloud Security Skills Gap
Lamont Orange, Chief Information Security Officer at Netskope,  11/15/2019
Attackers' Costs Increasing as Businesses Focus on Security
Robert Lemos, Contributing Writer,  11/15/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
Navigating the Deluge of Security Data
In this Tech Digest, Dark Reading shares the experiences of some top security practitioners as they navigate volumes of security data. We examine some examples of how enterprises can cull this data to find the clues they need.
Flash Poll
Rethinking Enterprise Data Defense
Rethinking Enterprise Data Defense
Frustrated with recurring intrusions and breaches, cybersecurity professionals are questioning some of the industrys conventional wisdom. Heres a look at what theyre thinking about.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2019-19037
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-21
ext4_empty_dir in fs/ext4/namei.c in the Linux kernel through 5.3.12 allows a NULL pointer dereference because ext4_read_dirblock(inode,0,DIRENT_HTREE) can be zero.
CVE-2019-19036
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-21
btrfs_root_node in fs/btrfs/ctree.c in the Linux kernel through 5.3.12 allows a NULL pointer dereference because rcu_dereference(root->node) can be zero.
CVE-2019-19039
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-21
__btrfs_free_extent in fs/btrfs/extent-tree.c in the Linux kernel through 5.3.12 calls btrfs_print_leaf in a certain ENOENT case, which allows local users to obtain potentially sensitive information about register values via the dmesg program.
CVE-2019-6852
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-20
A CWE-200: Information Exposure vulnerability exists in Modicon Controllers (M340 CPUs, M340 communication modules, Premium CPUs, Premium communication modules, Quantum CPUs, Quantum communication modules - see security notification for specific versions), which could cause the disclosure of FTP har...
CVE-2019-6853
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-20
A CWE-79: Failure to Preserve Web Page Structure vulnerability exists in Andover Continuum (models 9680, 5740 and 5720, bCX4040, bCX9640, 9900, 9940, 9924 and 9702) , which could enable a successful Cross-site Scripting (XSS attack) when using the products web server.