The Russian national Yevgeniy Aleksandrovich Nikulin was sentenced to 88 months in prison in the United States for hacking LinkedIn, Dropbox, and Formspring in 2012.
Let’s summarize the criminal activities of the man who was arrested in Prague in October 2016 in an international joint operation with the FBI.
Nikulin first breached LinkedIn between March 3 and March 4, 2012, the hacker first infected an employee’s laptop with malware then used the employee’s VPN to access LinkedIn’s internal network.
The Russian man stole roughly 117 million user records, including usernames, passwords, and emails.
Nikulin used data stolen from Linkedin to launch spear-phishing attacks against employees at other companies, including Dropbox.
Between May 14, 2012 and July 25, 2012, Nikulin obtained the records belonging 68 million Dropbox users containing usernames, emails, and hashed passwords.
Nikulin also hacked into an employee account of a Formspring engineer and used it to access the company network between June 13, 2012, and June 29, 2012. The hacker stole 30 million user details from the company database.
The data stolen by Nikulin were available on the cybercrime underground between 2015 and 2016, they were offered for sale by multiple traders.
The man always refused to cooperate with the authorities or to plead guilty while he was in prison.
The Russian man was found guilty by a United States jury in early July, he was previously sentenced to 145 months in prison, three years of supervised release, and restitution.
The lawyers of the hacker, Adam Gasner and Valery Nechay, claimed that their client had been already in custody for a total of 48 months already.
Nikulin was sentenced to 88 months in prison, of which he will or 74 months, minus the time already served.
“Nikulin’s sentence breaks down to 64 months on counts two, six and eight related to trafficking in unauthorized access devices and causing damage to a protected computer, and 60 months for counts one, four, five and seven related to computer intrusion and conspiracy. These will all be served concurrently. He will also serve 24 months for aggravated identity theft.” reported the CourtHouseNews website.
“The sentence imposed was 88 months, of which he will serve 85% of that time – meaning he needs to serve 74.8 months of actual custody,” Gasner said. “After deducting the 48 months he has already served, he has 26.8 additional months remaining. So, a little over two years before he is returned home. We wish him well.”
Nikulin was also sentenced to three years of supervised release and the judge ordered him to pay restitution of $1 million to LinkedIn, $514,000 to Dropbox, $20,000 to Formspring, and $250,000 to WordPress parent company Automattic.
(SecurityAffairs – hacking, Cybercrime)
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