Date
23 May 2017
The hacker, who had a Russian email address, tried to sell user account information for websites like Facebook and Twitter. Photo: internet
The hacker, who had a Russian email address, tried to sell user account information for websites like Facebook and Twitter. Photo: internet

Hacker linked to theft of info of 1.2 bln web users: FBI

A hacker who advertised having access to user account information for websites like Facebook and Twitter has been linked through a Russian email address to the theft of the personal data of 1.2 billion web users, Reuters reported.

The FBI said in court documents that the hacker, known as “mr.grey”, was identified using data from a cybersecurity firm that announced in August last year it had determined a Russian crime ring was responsible for stealing information from more than 420,000 websites.

The papers, made public last week by a federal court in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, provide a window into the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s probe of what would amount to the largest collection of stolen user names and passwords.

The court documents were filed in support of a search warrant the FBI sought in December related to email records.

It was executed in January.

The investigation was prompted by last year’s announcement by Milwaukee-based cybersecurity firm Hold Security that it obtained information that a Russian hacker group it dubbed CyberVor had stolen the 1.2 billion credentials and more than 500 million email addresses.

The FBI later found lists of domain names and utilities that investigators believe were used to send spam, the documents said.

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