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
 

Recommended Reading:

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. 
News
US Formally Attributes SolarWinds Attack to Russian Intelligence Agency
Jai Vijayan, Contributing Writer,  4/15/2021
News
Dependency Problems Increase for Open Source Components
Robert Lemos, Contributing Writer,  4/14/2021
News
FBI Operation Remotely Removes Web Shells From Exchange Servers
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  4/14/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
2021 Top Enterprise IT Trends
We've identified the key trends that are poised to impact the IT landscape in 2021. Find out why they're important and how they will affect you today!
Flash Poll
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
Recent breaches of third-party apps are driving many organizations to think harder about the security of their off-the-shelf software as they continue to move left in secure software development practices.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2021-20527
PUBLISHED: 2021-04-19
IBM Resilient SOAR V38.0 could allow a privileged user to create create malicious scripts that could be executed as another user. IBM X-Force ID: 198759.
CVE-2021-27028
PUBLISHED: 2021-04-19
A Memory Corruption Vulnerability in Autodesk FBX Review version 1.4.0 may lead to remote code execution through maliciously crafted DLL files.
CVE-2021-27029
PUBLISHED: 2021-04-19
The user may be tricked into opening a malicious FBX file which may exploit a Null Pointer Dereference vulnerability in FBX's Review causing the application to crash leading to a denial of service.
CVE-2021-27030
PUBLISHED: 2021-04-19
A user may be tricked into opening a malicious FBX file which may exploit a Directory Traversal Remote Code Execution vulnerability in FBX’s Review causing it to run arbitrary code on the system.
CVE-2021-27031
PUBLISHED: 2021-04-19
A user may be tricked into opening a malicious FBX file which may exploit a use-after-free vulnerability in FBX's Review causing the application to reference a memory location controlled by an unauthorized third party, thereby running arbitrary code on the system.