tv Justice Department Indicts Russian Spies in Yahoo Hacking Attack CSPAN March 16, 2017 12:53am-1:22am EDT
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>> good morning and thank you for being here. i am mary mccord, the acting assistant attorney general for the department of justice. with me today is fbi executive assistant director, u.s. attorney for the northern district of california brian stretch, and the office of international affairs director. there here to announce major law enforcement action related to one of the largest dated breaches in history. today we are announcing the indictment of four individuals responsible for the 2014 hack into the network of the email provider yahoo!. the theft of information of at least 500 million accounts, and the use of the information to obtain the contents of the accounts at yahoo! and other writers.
defendants include two officers of the russian federal securities service and intelligence and law enforcement agency of the russian federation, and two criminal hackers with whom they conspired to a conflict these intrusions. dmitry aleksandrovich dokuchaev and alexsey alexseyevich belan, both officers, protected and pay criminal hackers to collect information through computer intrusion in the united states and elsewhere. they worked with co-conspirators alexsey alexseyevich belan and karim baratov to hack into the computers of american companies, providing email and internet related services. to main unauthorized access the computers and to steal information, including information about individual users and the private contents of their accounts. the defendants targeted yahoo!
accounts of russian and u.s. government officials, including cyber security diplomatic and military personnel. they also targeted russian journalists, numerous employees of other providers whose networks the consumers thought to exploit and employees of a financial services and other commercial entities. belan has been indicted twice before in the united states for three intrusions into e-commerce companies that victimized millions of customers. fbi's been one of the most wanted cyber criminals for more than three years. belan's notorious criminal conduct and a pending interpol notice did not stop the fsb officers who instead of detaining him, used him to break into yahoo!'s networks. meanwhile, belan used his relationship with the two fsb officers and his access to yahoo! to commit additional crimes to line his own pockets
with money. specifically, belan used his access to yahoo! to search for and steal financial information, such as gift cards and credit card numbers from email accounts. he also gained access to more than 30 million yahoo! accounts, whose contacts he then stole to facilitate an email scam. with these charges, the department of justice is continuing to send the powerful message that we will not allow individuals, groups, nation states, or a combination of those to compromise the privacy of our citizens, the economic interests of our companies, or the security of our country. for those who may not be familiar with the fsb, it is an intelligence and law enforcement agency and a successor to the soviet union's kgb. the unit that the defendants work for, the center for information security, also known
as center 18, is also the fbi's point of contact in moscow for cybercrime matters. the involvement and direction of fsb officers with law enforcement responsibilities makes this conduct that much more egregious. there are no free passes for foreign state-sponsored criminal behavior. through the work of the national security division, the fbi, the united states attorney's office is around the country, we continue to pursue national security cyber threats using all available tools to investigate malicious activity and attribute it to the country, agency, and even the individuals involved. when possible and supported by the evidence, we intend to charge those individuals and bring them to justice. i am also pleased to announce that a fourth co-conspirator charged in the indictment, karim baratov, was arrested yesterday in canada on a u.s. government provisional arrest warrant.
i would like to thank those who worked diligently to bring the investigation to this point, including the men and women of the national security division, the fbi, and the u.s. attorneys offices, and the criminal division's office of international affairs for their tireless work. i would also like to extend a special thanks to yahoo! and google, whose customers were targeted and who cooperated with law enforcement. it is very important for corporations around the country to know that when you are going against the resources and backing of a nationstate, it is not a fair fight. it is not a fight you are likely to win. but you do not have to go it alone. we can put the full capabilities of the united states behind you to make cases like this, but we cannot do it without your help. at this time, i would like to introduce fbi assistant director, who will provide
additional details on today's announcement. >> thank you, mary. good morning, everyone and welcome. today's announcement is a testament to the tireless work and extraordinary efforts that have been done to identify and hold accountable those individuals believed to be responsible for this significant breach of yahoo!'s networks technology systems. this indictment details how russian federal securities officers working together with criminal hackers conspired to plan and carry out one of the largest cyber intrusions in u.s. history. these perpetrators compromised the company's networks, along with the accounts and personal information of approximately 500 million yahoo! users, and further still millions of user contacts to carry out fraud schemes for their own personal financial gain and enrichment,
among other things. i want to note, this is a highly complex, long-term investigation that has only reached this stage as a result of the relentless and persistent and dedicated efforts of the team. it also further underscores the central value of early, proactive engagement and cooperation between the private sector and the government. our ability to identify, detect and hold cyber criminals accountable under the law, while preventing and mitigating harm, is contingent upon our ability to work closely and cooperatively with companies and individuals who are targeted and victimized as in this case. yesterday'sd, arrest of co-conspirator karim baratov in canada, which was executed by the toronto police services fugitive squad, demonstrates our total and unyielding commitment to finding and bringing to justice
cyber criminals, no matter where they operate or reside. the criminal hackers in this case used a variety of techniques to access the information, including email spearfishing, downloading malicious files and code onto releasingetworks, servers around the world to carry out their schemes and avoid detection, and registering emails account using false subscriber information. as this indictment demonstrates, regardless of what methods are employed, or where the criminal actors live, if you illegally target u.s. citizens, or american companies, you will be identified, pursued, and held to account wherever you are. i want to highlight and commend the exceptional work of the fbi san francisco field office. the fbi cyber division. the u.s. attorney's office for the northern district of california, and our partners here at the department of justice and the national security division.
of those to all involved for your outstanding and ongoing contribution to resolving this case. we are extremely grateful as well to our international partners for their assistance and support leading up to these criminal charges today. those partners include canada's royal mounted police and as mentioned, the toronto police service and the fugitive squad. as well, the united's kingdoms m i5 made contributions to this as well. i want to thank our fbi legal personnel in ottawa and london for their great work in supporting and moving forward the operation and investigations that underline the charges today. i want to close by saying that we at the fbi, together with our partners in the doj, will continue to work hard day in and together without inter-,
international, and private sector partners to identify those who conduct cyber attacks against the united states and our allies, to identify and expose them to the world and most importantly, to hunt them down and hold them responsible, matter where they live or attempt to hide. thank you all for being here today. with that, i would like to turn it over to brian stretch. >> thank you. my name is brian stretch. i am the u.s. attorney in san francisco. i completed to join the head of the national security division and the executive assistant of the fbi to advice you on the criminal charges in connection with the widely reported yahoo! breach that occurred in 2014. as an important reminder to everyone, the criminal charges in the indictment announced today are allegations
only and all are presumed innocent until proven guilty. we are investigating a national security lawyers and experienced fbi agents, who worked tirelessly with yahoo! and google to identify the responsible parties and their methods and means for perpetrating one of the largest data breaches ever. silicon valley is home to the world's leading technology companies. the computer infrastructure provides the means by which people around the world communicate with each other in business and in our personalize. everyday criminal hackers endeavor to gain unauthorized access to personal and proprietary information for nefarious purposes. the department of justice and the technology companies together share a common goal and responsibility to protect private communications from cyber criminals. the privacy and security of our internet-based
communications must be governed by the rule of law. people rightly expect that the government and technology companies both will make every effort to ensure that communications through internet providers will remain private. exceptions to this principle should be few and governed by law. to this end, in recent years, the doj has made cyber security a top priority and has taken a number of steps to protect the public from cybercrime. part of this effort has involved conducting extensive outreach throughout silicon valley and elsewhere to encourages service providers to record unauthorized intrusions and protect trade secrets. both the doj and the technology companies throughout the country are beginning to see proof of this outreach. the benefits of reporting intrusions to the u.s. government include the following. the companies are able to obtain
assistance from the government to determine the scope and extent of the intrusion and to determine the identity of the hackers. the companies are also able to obtain information about what u se the hackers put to the stolen information that has been obtained. and by working with investigators, the company's can target and limit investigatory methods to prevent unnecessary access to the private records of innocent victims and account holders. cks we arethe ha talking about today, yahoo! and google informed the doj of the data breaches, cooperated extensively with the fbi and doj attorneys to investigate the intrusions and by leveraging the combined efforts of the government and the service providers, they assisted in effectuating a targeted, streamlined and effective investigation. the update to this type of approach, the responsible
parties have been identified, charges have been returned, one defendant has been arrested and arrest warrants have been issued for the remaining defense defendants. the cooperation allowed the u.s. attorney's office, along with the national security division, and the fbi, to accomplish these initial results, while maintaining the fundamental top privacy interests of the account holders who had their information stolen. we commend both yahoo! and google for working with our fbi, and the national security division lawyers to identify and seek justice for the perpetrators of these intrusions. i will now turn it back to mary. few questionse a now. >> what do you see as the purpose of this conspiracy? was it financial gain or intelligence gathering? >> what the indictment alleges
is that these fsb officers used criminal hackers to gain information that clearly, some of which, has intelligence value, but in doing so, and it using criminal hackers, the criminal hackers used this opportunity to line their own pockets for private financial gain. >> you said this morning at the financial times seminar that the government has a number of tools at its disposal, including prosecution. will be u.s. seek other means, other than these indictments to go after the russians? sanctions, trade limitations? >> those are things that have yet to be determined. as you noted, we are committed to using all tools and in this case, we were able to develop the evidence to the point where we were able to bring criminal charges consistent with the standard required for that, but that does not mean we won't look to see if other tools will be available. >> will you look to see if there are other tools question >> we
will engage in those discussions. for this type of matter, that is nothing we have been -- that i am prepared to address today. , did you knowkly two of the indicted are members of the center 18, the fbi's point of contact in moscow. natural thate people would use that to exploit this? --i think what is >> on the part of the u.s. government. >> i don't think it does. these are the very people we are supposed to work with, cooperatively in law enforcement channels. type ofer than do that work, they actually turned sort of against that type of work. ifan certainly pass to paul you have any additional comments. had limitede
cooperation with that element of the russian government in the past. in this case, with respect to belan, he has been charged previously also in one case of the northern district of california and also in nevada back in 2012. we have asked for his return in 2014 in official channels to the russian government. and we have had no response. i think that is reflective of the relationship and the approach we need to take in this case, in terms of the lack of cooperation we have gotten. reporter: to change or end? to have need cooperation from all international partners to resolve cases like this among many other threats that we face. but when we look at this case, and i am to this case now, we expect and hope for the cooperation here. and in fact, post this announcement, we are going to go out with another official
request, not just for mr. belan, but for the other two individuals charged here and are residing in russia now. caller: this model you are alleging, officers working with criminal hackers, is this the new normal we are seeing in russia? and how are you able to make the link that all four were in tandem together? mary: for your first question, i will not be specific as to rush on that. we are seeing more and more use by nationstates of criminal hackers to carry out some of their intentions. idle think it is necessarily unique to rush it -- i don't think it is necessarily unique to russia in this case. the indictment alleges in pretty great detail the conspiracy of these four men, the sharing of infrastructure, and hacking techniques and tools and procedures, the sharing of the c
gains that were used to access into accounts, and contracting with baratov to do additional intrusions with other email providers, such as google. reporter: do you think there is a connection between this case and the hacking in t e election? can you speak to the president being subjected to surveillance at trump tower? mary: we don't allege any connection between this intrusion and the intrusion into the dnc. that is a separate investigation and i have no comment on the president. fsb was involved. that is just what the dental? thes-- that is just coincidental? mary: we don't have anything that suggests in our indictment that there is any relationship between those.
reporter: is there any evidence you have uncovered? but did investigators uncover any evidence, or is this the same model you saw with respect to the dn hack? -- to the dnc hack? mary: i am not sure i fully understand your question as to if this is the same model. if you are talking about the use of criminal hackers, that is an ongoing and separate investigation and a don't have any further information on that. [inaudible] fsbrter: were these officers acting individually? the second question is, mr. belan, based on the fbi warrant, --says he is in the department of justice statement it says he is russian. mary: we will have to get back
to you with any correction there on those. reporter: these are official documents. can you answer the first question, though? mary: i can't recall the first question. reporter: it is whether these two fsb officers were acting individually, or on behalf of that agency. mary: what the other indictment alleges, and as we have reason to believe based on the evidence, they were acting on their capacity as fsb officials. reporter: i just want to clarify, he is not recused from this investigation. mary: he is recused. what about the executive order about the malicious cyber hacking? is there an enforcement tool that you are using? mary: there is, as you are aware from this morning's presentation there is an executive order that allows for sanctioning in
certain circumstances, including circumstances involving economic espionage. going back to my response to pete's question, the tools on the table remain on the table. reporter: can you talk more about how it is possible to maintain a working relationship between the fbi and the fsb given the indictment. how does that work? paul: i think that is a challenge. and i think this case is going to be a great test of that. so we can gauge the level of cooperation we get from them now, having charged these individuals. we would like to see their full cooperation into bringing these individuals to justice. ask about dmitry dokuchaev. he had a history of operating in the dark web. do you have any details about
whether he continued using that conduct criminal activity when he was part of the fsb, and which dark web fo did m did he operate in? mary: i am not prepared to answer those questions. reporter: let's go back to clarify the earlier question. did you see a similar strategy, or model, that was used in the dnc hack as you saw in this case. mary: that is an ongoing investigation. so, i am not prepared to discuss what we have seen and what the status of that investigation is. reporter: has the doj or the fbi heard anything from the russian government about the possibility of extradition? mary: we do not have an extra edition treaty with russia. we hope they respect our criminal justice system and respect these charges. expect thehen can we
canadian -- mary: that is an ongoing pending matter, where extradition will be requested, but i cannot estimate the timeline. reporter: touching on a previous question. do you have any evidence that president trump was wiretapped during his campaign? mary: that is not part of this indictment are what we are here to discuss today. >> thank you, very much. there will be an off-camera background -- >> please raise your right hand. >> with the confirmation hearing for supreme court nominee neil gorsuch starting next week, on thursday at 8:00 p.m. eastern, we look at the confirmation hearings of all eight current supreme court justices. starting with anthony kennedy in 1987.
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