Russian citizen Yevgeny Nikulin, accused of hacking LinkedIn eight years ago, was found guilty by a jury in San Francisco
The verdict in Nikulin’s case was announced on Friday after a trial that began in March, which was interrupted due to the coronavirus pandemic and resumed in July.
In 2016, there were a number of large-scale data leaks, and many dumps, including MySpace, LinkedIn, Tumblr and Vkontakte, were eventually put up for sale.
In 2016, one of the hackers, Russian Evgeny Nikulin, was arrested and extradited to the United States in 2017.
Nikulin was accused of a number of articles, and all of them were connected with penetration into other people’s networks and data theft. According to court documents, Nikulin hacked Dropbox, Formspring and LinkedIn in the spring and summer of 2012 and stole about 117,000,000 user records, including usernames, passwords and email addresses.
Nikulin then used the data stolen from LinkedIn to send phishing emails to employees of other companies. Authorities said that this way Nikulin managed to collect a lot of information about 68,000,000 Dropbox users, including usernames, email addresses and hashed passwords.
Similarly, Nikulin managed to get into the account of the Formspring engineer. Thus, in June 2012, he gained access to the company’s internal user database, which at that time numbered more than 30,000,000 people.
According to data from Radio Free Europe journalists, his activity brought a good income. Nikulin bought expensive cars, watches and traveled a lot. For example, Nikulin admitted that he owns a Lamborghini Huracan, Bentley, Continental GT and Mercedes-Benz G-Class.
The sentence to Nikulin will be announced on September 29. The jury took less than one day to reach a verdict. Nikulin faces up to 32 years in prison and fines exceeding a million dollars.
Lawyer Arkady Bukh said that the defense intends to challenge the verdict. According to him, the psychiatrist who was appointed by the judge previously recognized Nikulin as mentally abnormal.
Nikulin always denied guilt and even called the charges revenge of the United States for providing political asylum in Russia to Edward Snowden.
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