Sources: U.S. Planning Indictments Over Hacking at Yahoo
The Justice Department is accusing four individuals of participating in huge security breaches online that compromised millions of accounts of users said a source close to the matter.
The hacks were discovered last year and had threatened to break up the sale of the web operations of Yahoo to Verizon.
The U.S. will arrest one in person in Canada by Tuesday. Three others are now in Russia the person said.
The indictments will come after many revelations of breaches of security prompted Verizon to demand a price reduction for the deal that was announced first during July to acquire the key assets for Internet of Yahoo including its sports, finance and other sites.
Ultimately, the price of the deal was cut $350 million to a final price of $4.48 billion.
Yahoo suffered two big breaches over the past couple of years. In December, the company said cyber attackers in 2013 had taken information the included email addresses of users, scrambled passwords for accounts and dates of birth.
That data that was stolen could give criminals the ability to go after additional sensitive information elsewhere on the Internet.
This announcement came after news of a September 2014 breach at Yahoo that affected more than 500 million accounts.
The company has not identified those involved with the 2013 intrusion, but did say it believed the 2014 breach was an actor that was state sponsored.
The hacks have led recently to changes in management at Yahoo. Ronald Bell the company’s General Counsel left after an internal investigations discovered the legal team at Yahoo had sufficient information about the breaches of security to warrant more inquiry but did not pursue it sufficiently.
CEO Marissa Mayer lost a cash bonus for 2016 amidst the two investigations. A company committee did not find intent to suppress information related to the hacks, but said important executives did not do enough when the breach was discovered.
The security breaches resulted in the company paying millions of dollars in investigative as well as legal costs, according to filings by the company and caused over 40 lawsuits to be filed.
Yahoo is continuing to work with the Federal Trade Commission, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan and two attorneys general from unnamed states on the two breaches.
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