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Canadian Accused Of Helping Russian Intelligence Agents Sentenced To Prison For 5 Years

Karim Baratov, who pleaded guilty in November 2017 in San Francisco, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

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The rise of New-Age baniya, courtesy digitally-savvy millennials (Tech Trend-Part I),Pixabay.

A Canadian accused of helping Russian intelligence agents break into email accounts as part of a massive 2014 data breach at Yahoo was sentenced Tuesday to five years in prison and ordered to pay a $250,000 fine.

Karim Baratov, who pleaded guilty in November 2017 in San Francisco, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

Baratov, a Canadian citizen born in Kazakhstan, was arrested in Canada in March 2017 at the request of U.S. prosecutors. He later waived his right to fight a request for his extradition to the United States.

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Karim Baratov, who pleaded guilty in November 2017 in San Francisco, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. Pixabay

Lawyers for Baratov in a court filing had urged a sentence of 45 months in prison, while prosecutors had sought 94 months.

“This case is about a young man, younger than most of the defendants in hacking cases throughout this country, who hacked emails, one at a time, for $100 a hack,” the defense lawyers wrote in a May 19 court filing.

Verizon Communications Inc., the largest U.S. wireless operator, acquired most of Yahoo’s assets in June 2017.

The U.S. Justice Department announced charges in March 2017 against Baratov and three others, including two officers in Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB), for their roles in the 2014 hacking of 500 million Yahoo accounts. Baratov is the only one of the four who has been arrested. Yahoo in 2016 said cyberthieves might have stolen names, email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth and encrypted passwords.

Gmail targets

When FSB officers learned that a target had a non-Yahoo webmail account, including through information obtained from the Yahoo hack, they worked with Baratov, who was paid to break into at least 80 email accounts, prosecutors said, including numerous Alphabet Inc. Gmail accounts.

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Federal prosecutors said in a court filing “the targeted victims were of interest to Russian intelligence” and included “prominent leaders in the commercial industries and senior government officials (and their counselors) of Russia and countries bordering Russia.”

Prosecutors said FSB officers Dmitry Dokuchaev and Igor Sushchin directed and paid hackers to obtain information and used Alexsey Belan, who is among the FBI’s most-wanted cybercriminals, to breach Yahoo. (VOA)

 

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Guest Wi-Fi at Your Home Prone to Hacking: Researchers

“A hardware-based solution seems to be the safest approach to guaranteeing isolation between secure and non-secure network devices,” Ovadya added

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Hackers have time and again demonstrated that breaking into public Wi-Fi networks is very easy. Pixabay

The guest Wi-Fi at your home is prone to hacking owing to inadequate in-built security, say researchers.

Most routers sold today offer consumers two or more network options – one for the family which may connect all the sensitive smart devices and computers and the other for visitors or less sensitive data.

A study by Israel-based Ben-Gurion University (BGU) indicates that routers from well-known manufacturers are vulnerable to cross-router data leaks through a malicious attack on one of the two separated networks.

“All of the routers we surveyed regardless of brand or price point were vulnerable to at least some cross-network communication once we used specially crafted network packets,” said Adar Ovadya from BGU’s department of software and information systems engineering.

Cisco, WiFi, Connectivity
Besides higher data rates, Wi-Fi 6, which is expected to be rolled out later this year, also promises increased capacity, better control over how users access the network, improved performance in environments with many connected devices, and lesser battery consumption by devices. Pixabay

Less sensitive data may include multimedia streams or environmental sensor readings.

In the paper, the researchers demonstrated the existence of different levels of cross-router covert channels which can be combined and exploited to either control a malicious implant, or to exfiltrate or steal the data.

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In some instances, these can be patched as a simple software bug, but more pervasive covert cross-channel communication is impossible to prevent, unless the data streams are separated on different hardware.

“A hardware-based solution seems to be the safest approach to guaranteeing isolation between secure and non-secure network devices,” Ovadya added. (IANS)