Thursday, May 31, 2018

Canadian hacker for Russian Spy Agency sentenced to 5 years

Karim Baratov, 23, pleaded guilty in November to nine felony hacking charges. He acknowledged in his plea agreement that he began hacking seven years ago and charged customers $100 per hack to access web-based emails. U.S. prosecutors say he was "an international hacker for hire" who did dozens of jobs paid for by Russia's Federal Security Service.
Prosecutors say Russia's Federal Security Service targeted Russian journalists, U.S. and Russian government officials and employees of financial services and other private businesses. Baratov and his lawyers said his work with the Russia spy agency was unwitting. Baratov claimed he could access webmail accounts maintained by Google and Russian providers such as Mail.Ru and Yandezx. He would provide customers with a screenshot of the hacked account and promised he could change security questions so they could maintain control of the account. He collected more than $1.1 million in fees, which he used to buy a house and expensive cars. Baratov has been in custody since his arrest last year.

He told the judge that his time behind bars has been "a very humbling and eye-opening experience." Baratov was also fined $250,000