Five Years in Prison for Hacker Working for Russian Intelligence

The hacker Karim Baratov has been sentenced to five years in prison in the United States and a fine of more than 2.2 million dollars. The US Department of Justice has announced that.


The 23-year-old Baratov was commissioned by the Russian secret service FSB to focus on e-mail accounts of the service, including Russian journalists and civil servants. In exchange for money, the hacker was instructed to pass on passwords of at least eighty accounts to the FSB.

He also hacked more than 11,000 accounts from the e-mail services of the US internet companies Google and Yahoo between 2010 and his arrest in March 2017. He used so-called ‘spear phishing’ tactics, where targets are approached in the hope that they open a malicious paper or click on a link.

The hacker worked with three other hackers who penetrated into the systems of Internet company Yahoo. This enabled them to retrieve information from 500 million e-mail accounts.

Baratov was born in Kazakhstan but has Canadian nationality. In March 2017, he was arrested by the authorities of that country.

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