The U.S. successfully extradited accused Russian hacker Yevgeniy Nikulin from the Czech Republic last week, winning a political tug-of-war with Moscow, which sought to return him to his home country.
Nikulin, who allegedly hacked and stole data from LinkedIn, Dropbox and Formspring, appeared in a U.S. district count in San Francisco on Mar. 30. He was originally arrested in October 2016 by Czech authorities. He has pleaded not guilty to a myriad of federal charges, including three counts of computer intrusion; two counts of intentional transmission of information, code, or command causing damage to a protected computer; two counts of aggravated identity theft; one count of trafficking in unauthorized access devices; and one count of conspiracy.
The 2012 breach of LinkedIn generated major headlines in May 2016 when a bad actor began selling stolen credentials from 117 million user accounts online.
“Computer hacking is not just a crime, it is a direct threat to the security and privacy of Americans,” said Attorney General Jeff Sessions in a Department of Justice statement. “In this case, the defendant, a Russian national, is accused of breaking into the computer system of several important American companies using stolen identities, and potentially gaining access to the personal information of millions of Americans. This is deeply troubling behavior once again emanating from Russia. We will not tolerate criminal cyberattacks and will make it a priority to investigate and prosecute these crimes, regardless of the country where they originate."