Hacker with Russian intel ties pleads guilty to gmail hacks
Hacker with Russian intel ties pleads guilty to gmail hacks

After pleading guilty to federal conspiracy and identity theft in November, a hacker with ties to Russian intelligence was sentenced to five years in prison Tuesday for hacking Gmail accounts. 

23-year-old Canadian citizen Karim Baratov had originally pleaded not guilty to a 47-count indictment levied against him and three Russian nationals on conspiracy, computer intrusion, and economic espionage stemming from the breach, according to court documents.

Authorities said at the time that while Baratov wasn't directly involved in a 2014 Yahoo hack, which compromised nearly 500 million users, his role in the hacking operation consisted of filling the gap when his FSB handlers encountered a target that used Gmail, or another provider, instead of Yahoo and using spear phishing attacks to obtain email passwords of 80 Federal Security Service (FSB) targets, which he passed on to Russia.

The Kazakhstan native operated the hacking service between 2010 and March 2017.