Russian Hacker Who Hacked LinkedIn, Dropbox And Stole The Data Of 117 Million Users Gets 88 Months In Prison

Yevgeniy Nikulin, 32 was the hacker who hacked LinkedIn, Dropbox and the defunct social media site Formspring. He is now convicted to more than 7 years in the U.S. prison. This hacker is said to perform one of the biggest data breaches in US history by stealing data if 117 MILLION Linkedin users. Yevgeniy Nikulin was convicted after a six-day jury trial in San Francisco, United States.

Prosecutors have stated that while Nikulin was in Moscow, he hacked into the company’s computers. He during that time installed malware on them. This malware, later on, allowed him to control them (company’s computers) remotely and download user databases. The user databases included encrypted passwords. He was arrested while travelling in the Czech Republic in the year 2016. He was then extradited to the U.S. His trial was the first in Northern California since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. In sentencing Nikulin to 88 months in prison, U.S. District Judge William Alsup said he was trying to send a message of deterrence to hackers. A message that was meant to be received by hackers who operated abroad. This was according to a statement issued by San Francisco U.S. Attorney David Anderson.

Reaction Of The Community And Its Users

There were many people who all of a sudden did not feel secure about their data with LinkedIn, but there were only a few who spoke out. One of the people who spoke out was Representative Mary Bono Mack. She is a part of the United States Congress. She commented on the incident saying “How many times is this going to happen before Congress finally wakes up and takes action? This latest incident once again brings into sharp focus the need to pass data protection legislation.”

Representative Mary Mono Mack

Representative Mary wasn’t the only one who spoke up about the incident. Senator Patrick Leahy spoke up as well. “Reports of another major data breach should give pause to American consumers who, now more than ever, share sensitive personal information in their online transactions and networking … Congress should make comprehensive data privacy and cybercrime legislation a top priority.”

Senator Patrick Leahy

Michael Aronowitz, Vice President of Saveology said also spoke up about the incident. He stated, “Every day hundreds of sites are hacked and personal information is obtained. Stealing login information from one account can easily be used to access other accounts, which can hold personal and financial information.”

Not only that, a user of Linkedin named Katie Szpyrka, from Illinois filed a $5 million lawsuit against Linkedin. The lawsuit was filed against the statement complaining that the company did not keep its promises to secure connections and databases. Erin O’Harra, a spokeswoman working for LinkedIn, when asked about the lawsuit, said that lawyers were looking to take advantage of that situation to again propose the bills SOPA and PIPA in the United States Congress.

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How Did Linkedin Respond?

The Linkedin community immediately apologised for the data breach. They asked its users to immediately change their passwords.  As of 8 June 2012, the investigation was still in its early stages, and the company said it was unable to determine whether the hackers were also able to steal the email addresses associated with the compromised user accounts as well. LinkedIn revealed that the users whose passwords are compromised would not be able to access their LinkedIn accounts using their old passwords.


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