In 2014, a group of hackers made off with the account information for 500 million Yahoo users, gaining access to their e-mails and other Yahoo applications. At the time, it was the largest disclosed data breach in history. On Wednesday, the Justice Department is moving to indict those responsible, including two criminal hackers, and two Russian operatives.
This marks the first time Russian government officials have been charged with such a crime.
Charges being levied against the four, whose identities have not yet been officially revealed, include hacking, wire fraud, trade secret theft, and economic espionage. According to sources that have asked to remain anonymous, these charges are a part of the largest hacking case ever brought about in the United States.
According to sources, the FSB, or Russia’s Federal Security Service (the successor to the infamous KGB), sought the information from Yahoo’s servers for intelligence purposes. Their efforts targeted journalists, political dissidents and U.S. government officials. They then permitted the other hackers to use the email cache for financial purposes like identity theft, spam, and phishing schemes.