Canadian man pleads guilty in huge Yahoo hacking case

Canadian man pleads guilty in huge Yahoo hacking case
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A Canadian man has pleaded guilty to computer hacking charges related to his role in a 2014 breach at Yahoo, the Justice Department announced Tuesday.

Karim Baratov, 22, is the only person who has been arrested so far in connection with the breach, in which hackers stole information from roughly 500 million Yahoo accounts.

Baratov was born in Kazakhstan, but is a Canadian citizen. The Justice Department charged him and three others in March for their role in the breach. Baratov waived his right to fight extradition to the U.S. from Canada.


Baratov pleaded not guilty in August to aggravated identity theft, conspiring to commit computer fraud, conspiring to commit wire fraud and conspiring to commit access device fraud.

Reuters reported last week, however, that a "change of plea" hearing had been scheduled for Baratov.

Two officers with Russia’s Federal Security Service who were charged in the case allegedly paid hackers to obtain information from the accounts. The Federal Security Service is the country's domestic law enforcement and intelligence service.

After the officers learned that one of their targets had an account not associated with Yahoo, they hired Baratov to breach at least 80 email accounts, according to prosecutors.

Baratov's sentencing hearing is scheduled for Feb. 20, 2018.