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LinkedIn, Dropbox hack suspect named as Yevgeniy Nikulin by US prosecutors

Russia hoping to block accused miscreant's extradition

By Richard Chirgwin, 24 Oct 2016

The US Department of Justice has unsealed its indictment against a Russian bloke accused of hacking high-profile websites.

Last week, we reported that "Yevgeniy N" was cuffed on October 5 while in a restaurant with his girlfriend in Prague, Czech Republic. He's now been named by US prosecutors as 29-year-old Yevgeniy Nikulin of Moscow.

The DoJ's announcement claims Nikulin ransacked LinkedIn's systems in 2012 plus Dropbox and Formspring.

The indictment claims Nikulin used LinkedIn and Formspring employee logins to access internal computers, and worked with unnamed coconspirators to leak online the user databases he obtained.

Nikulin is charged with:

  • Three counts of computer intrusion
  • Two counts of causing damage to a protected computer
  • Two counts of aggravated identity theft
  • One count of trafficking in unauthorised access devices
  • One count of conspiracy

If convicted in the US, he would face up to 10 years behind bars.

When the LinkedIn hack was first reported, it was thought that 6.5 million user records were swiped and leaked; it was only this year that the world learned 117 million account passwords were stolen and had to be reset.

In July 2012, Formspring reset 28 million passwords after its leak. Earlier this year, Dropbox confirmed that the 2012 hack involved more than 68 million accounts.

Russia's Foreign Ministry told Bloomberg it wants to block Nikulin's extradition to the US. They said Nikulin's arrest shows the US is "hunting for Russian citizens across the world." ®

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