Man pleads guilty to charges of data breach which affected some 500 million Yahoo! accounts.
A Canadian man, US authorities have labeled a ‘Hacker for Hire,’ has pleaded guilty to charges resulting from a massive 2014 data breach at former web titan, Yahoo! The breach which affected some 500 million Yahoo! accounts, was the brain child of two Russian Intelligence Agents claim authorities.
Karim Baratov, aged 22, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit computer fraud and abuse and eight counts of aggravated identity theft in a San Francisco court. Baratov’s lawyers claimed in his defense that he was unaware he was working for Russian government agents. “He’s been transparent and forthright with the government since he got here,” said one of his attorneys, Andrew Mancilla.
Three others have also been charged over the hack by the US, but have so far not been arrested as they are resident in Russia.
According to a spokesperson for the US Department of Justice, Baratov primarily used spear-phishing schemes to trick victims into entering their account credentials into web pages that he had built to mimic official web-mail provider’s sites, and were aimed mostly at Yahoo! users.
Mr Baratov only gave ‘yes’ and ‘no’ answers before the federal judge and was dressed in a standard prison-issue jumpsuit.
Check my Insta
Baratov had a wide an varied social media presence. In his Instagram profile for instance, he describes himself as ‘Workaholic. Occasional drawer. Gym rat.’ He had also previously posted on the social media site Ask.fm that he had made his ‘first million’ by the age of 15. On another site he claimed that he had made sufficient money from online services to be rich enough in ‘high school to be able to afford driving a BMW 7 series and pay off a mortgage on my first house’.
Baratov’s guilty plea means he will not go to trial, and is part of a plea-deal arrangement he has made with the US Department of Justice. He is scheduled for sentencing on February 20, and could face up to 28 years in jail for his crimes.