Accused Yahoo hacker owned Lamborghini, a Porsche 911, an Aston Martin and earned $7500 a month in hacking businesses
Yahoo was at the receiving end of a major hack in 2014 that compromised details of roughly half a billion users. Now, one of the four accused has been brought to trial with some shocking details becoming public.
Karim Baratov is the person in question, currently residing in Canada. He has been accused of hacking into the Yahoo accounts on behalf of the Russian government. He appeared in court today seeking bail ahead of a court hearing which will determine his extradition to the U.S. The 22 year old is one of 4 individuals indicted by the US over working with Dmitry Dokuchaev on the hack. Dmitry Dokuchaev on the other hand is known to be a hacker for the Russian FSB – the successor agency to the KGB.
Ontario Superior Court Justice Alan Whitten in Hamilton didn’t rule on the bail request Wednesday saying it would hear closing submissions from the lawyers on April 11. It’s still unclear if the 22 year old Baratov was aware that he was working for the FSB.
Canadian based Baratov born in Kazakhstan brought into the courtroom dressed in black sweatpants, black t-shirt, with his ankles chained. He told the court he lived with his parents until 2015 and had his own business protecting web servers from hackers since 2014. He said earned C$10,000 ($7,500) a month that year, less in the ensuing years.
At 20, Baratov said he moved into a C$642,000 home, and over time added a C$155,000 Lamborghini, a Porsche 911, an Aston Martin and another BMW to his car collection. Although he said, it was his parents who helped pay for these.
He said he had no money in his personal account and around C$5000 in the business account at the time of his arrest. The police also recovered C$ 31,000 in cash when they searched his residence. According to the US, he was paid to hack into 80 email accounts in all, including 50 Gmail accounts of Russian bureaucrats and politicians. The hackers were allegedly on the prowl for people of political interest vulnerable to financial fraud. The list of victims include the White House and its diplomatic and military corps.
According to the Justice Department, He used spear-phishing attacks to target his victims, using fake emails to compel them to provide sensitive information, and would then sell their passwords to Dokuchaev for $100 each. They managed to steal information to nearly 6,500 accounts in an attack the company has termed “state sponsored”.
Baratov’s father, Akhmet Tokbergenov, said through an interpreter that his son didn’t work for any Russians or any government.
“My son knows about my attitude toward Russian special authorities and it’s absolutely negative,” Tokbergenov told the judge. “He knows why we moved to Canada. I didn’t want to live in that environment.”
He has offered up C$845,000 equity in his home as surety to the courts. “I will create such conditions that maybe even jail will look like paradise to him,” Tokbergenov said. Looks like the hacker might have a happy homecoming.