Yahoo! hacker accused had a Lamborghini

AP Photo/Michael Probst, File

AP Photo/Michael Probst, File

Published Apr 6, 2017


Toronto - A

Canadian accused of hacking Yahoo! email accounts on behalf of the Russian

government appeared in court seeking bail ahead of a hearing to determine

whether he should be extradited to the US for trial.

Karim Baratov,

22, was one of four people indicted by the US government last month and charged

with working for Dmitry Dokuchaev, a hacker for Russia’s FSB security service -

the successor to the KGB. It’s not clear whether Baratov knew he was working

for the FSB, but his father denied any such connection.

Ontario Superior

Court Justice Alan Whitten in Hamilton didn’t rule on the bail request

Wednesday and said he would hear closing submissions from the lawyers on April


The 2014 Yahoo

hack affected at least 500 million accounts, damaging the company’s reputation

and threatening a takeover bid from Verizon Communications. Verizon cut its

offer by $350 million to $4.48 billion following news of the breach.

Baratov, who was

born in Kazakhstan and is a Canadian citizen, entered court wearing black

sweatpants, black t-shirt, with his ankles chained. He put on a beige blazer as

he sat down in the prisoner’s box.

He told the

judge he lived with his parents until 2015. He said he had a Mercedes and

a BMW while attending high school and started his own business protecting web

servers from hackers in 2014. He said earned C$10 000 ($7 500) a month that

year, less in the ensuing years.

At 20, Baratov

said he moved into a C$642 000 home, and over time added a C$155 000

Lamborghini, a Porsche 911, an Aston Martin and another BMW to his car

collection. His parents helped pay for the cars, he said.

Baratov said he

had about C$260 000 of equity in his home when it was sold following his

arrest. He said he had no money in his personal bank account and about C$5 000

in his business bank account when he was arrested. Police found about C$31 000

in cash when they searched his home.

Read also:  Yahoo! hacking probe accelerates

According to the

US, Baratov was paid to gain access to 80 email accounts, including 50 Google

accounts, belonging to Russian politicians and bureaucrats. He used

spear-phishing attacks to target his victims, using fake emails to compel them

to provide sensitive information, and would then sell their passwords to

Dokuchaev for $100 each, according to the Justice Department.

The hackers were

allegedly looking for people of political interest and others who might be

vulnerable to financial fraud, and the list of victims included the White House

and its military and diplomatic corps. They ultimately stole the contents of 6 500

Yahoo accounts in an attack the company called "state-sponsored."


father, Akhmet Tokbergenov, said through an interpreter that his son

didn’t work for any Russians or any government.

"My son

knows about my attitude toward Russian special authorities and it’s absolutely

negative,” Tokbergenov told the judge. “He knows why we moved to Canada. I

didn’t want to live in that environment.”

Baratov’s father

offered to put up C$845 000 equity in his home as surety. He said it

represented his life’s savings and he will make sure his son doesn’t flee.

"I will

create such conditions that maybe even jail will look like paradise to

him," Tokbergenov said.


Related Topics: