A panel determines the Russian hacker Yevgeniy Nikulin suspected of hacking LinkedIn, Dropbox, and Formspring’s internal systems back in 2012 and then offering their illegal trade consumer accounts.
The panel decision was delivered on Friday during the very first prosecution since the start of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in California.
Nikulin targeted the three firms in the Spring of 2012 according to court records and testimony provided at the proceedings.
The hacker broke LinkedIn for the first time between March 3 and March 4, 2012, after infecting the desktop of an employee with malware allowing Nikulin to exploit the VPN of the employee and enter the internal network of LinkedIn.
The hacker extracted nearly 117 million user accounts from here, data which included usernames, passwords, and emails.
Nikulin then used LinkedIn data to publish spear-phishing emails to workers of other businesses, including all those working of Dropbox, in which he was able to hack an employee profile, and instead invite himself to a Dropbox folder containing client info.
Officials say with a cache of details on 68 million Dropbox users including usernames, addresses, and hashed passwords, Nikulin has been able to pull off. Nikulin also was able to browse the workplace account of a Formspring programmer, from which he is thought to have obtained access to the company ‘s internal customer network of 30 million users between 13 June 2012 and 29 June 2012.
Nikulin then marketed the details of user accounts to other cyber-crimes on the anonymous hacker sector. The data surfaced online in 2015 and 2016 when numerous data dealers posted the data on publicly available sites and illegal e-commerce stores for sale.
Prosecutors conducted an inquiry in 2015 after the three firms lodged fraud charges in California. A year later, in October 2016, Nikulin was imprisoned while on holiday with his girlfriend in Prague.
The luxurious life of Nikulin had funded by his hacking operations.
These contain numerous new automobiles, luxurious watches, and European journeys. Nikulin confessed having a Lamborghini Huracan, a Bentley, a Continental GT, and a Mercedes-Benz G-Class during an interaction with Russia site AutoRambler.
After his conviction in Summer 2017, Nikulin has been in prison. Psychologists have studied him despite questions about his mental health. This was noted that Nikulin is intellectually fit for trial.
“If the condition is incurable, then prosecutors have to drop charges and he’ll be sent back to Russia for treatment.” — Arkady Bukh
The trial of Nikulin was conducted under an unusual sort of situations and safety precautions. US attorneys have explained their point, but they also still sought to tie him against other hacks and alleged conspiracies. Just days before the trial ended, the judge overseeing the case brought into question the attempts of the prosecution. The judge convicted Nikul, though, despite the judge criticizing the prosecutors for their handling of the situation the jury found Nikulin guilty after six hours of deliberations.