FSB not involved in cyber-attacks, Kremlin says
RT.com, Mar 16 2017
Official Russian agencies, including the FSB, have nothing to do with cyber-attacks, Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov said responding to the DoJ’s charging of two FSB officers over a data breach at Yahoo. Peskov said on Thursday:
We have repeatedly stated that there can be absolutely no question of any official involvement of any Russian agency, including the FSB, in any unlawful actions in cyberspace.
On Wednesday, the DoJ announced that two FSB officers and two Russian hackers are being charged over a mega data breach at Yahoo with criminal offenses, including computer hacking and economic espionage. Peskov also pointed out that Russian authorities found out about the charges against Russian citizens from the media instead of official channels, despite Moscow repeatedly stressing its readiness to cooperate in cyber-security. The presidential spokesman said:
We learned about this situation from the media, as far as we know, we did not receive any information from official channels, so unfortunately we do not have the details. Russia has always expressed interest … in cooperation in the field of countering cyber-crime and ensuring cyber-security, we believe that this is one of the priorities in our time.
The DOJ has accused the four defendants, FSB officers Dmitry Dokuchaev and Igor Sushchin, and hackers Aleksey Belan and Karim Baratov, of illegally accessing information about millions of subscribers from Yahoo, Google, and other webmail providers. The FSB agents were accused of working “with co-conspirators to hack into computers of Pindosi companies providing email and internet-related services, to maintain unauthorized access to those computers and to steal information, including information about individual users and the private contents of their accounts.” This is the first time that Pindostan has brought criminal charges against Russian officials for cyber-offenses. The case refers to a 2014 breach that affected around 500 million Yahoo users, along with at least 18 users of other service providers, including Google. Yahoo announced the breach in Sep 2016, stating at the time that it was working with law enforcement authorities and believed the attack was state-sponsored. The DoJ explicitly denies any connection of this indictment to the supposed DNC hack during last year’s electionsa.