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Hacker Profile: Who is Igor Sushchin?

by Itay Kozuch / April 6, 2018

Origin country: Russia

Known Associates: Dimitry Dukocheev, Aleksei Belan, Karim Bartov

Associates With: Russian Federal Security Service (FSB)

First seen: 2014

Famous attacks: “Yahoo hack”

Igor Sushchin (DoB: 28.8.73) is a Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) Officer, of unknown rank. In addition to working for the authorities, he allegedly served as Head of Information Security for a Russian company, providing information about the company employees to the FSB. The U.S. has indicted and charged Sushchin and the others for overseeing or being directly involved in computer hacking, including stolen email accounts, and other secret programs designed to manipulate a user’s account.

He is considered a very strong threat actor of 2017 because he is held accountable to the huge Yahoo hack, and because he turned out to be the most significant and harmful hacker working privately and not within an APT group.

He became wanted by the FBI in March 15th, 2017, and was charged along with three individuals (Dimitry Dukocheev, Aleksei Belan and Karim Bartov), in connection with compromising at least 500 million Yahoo accounts in 2014. The charges were: hacking, economic espionage, trade secret theft, wire fraud, and identity theft.

According to the Justice Department, Dukocheev and Sushchin paid co-conspirators Belan and Baratov to access email accounts. Furthermore, from at least January 2014, continuing through December 2016, Suschin and Dukocheev gained unauthorized access to the computer networks of and user accounts hosted at major companies providing worldwide webmail and internet-related services in the Northern District of California and elsewhere.

The hackers were allegedly hired to target American and Russian government officials, diplomats, military, journalists, the financial sector and other sector activists. Among these targets, Yahoo was especially valuable, not only for its email records but also due to its large social platforms like Flickr and Tumblr.

In March 2017, it was reported that Sushchin worked as an undercover officer at Renaissance Capital, a Moscow investment bank owned by the billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov. He was fired from the bank on March 16th, the day after U.S. officials announced the charges related to the massive 2014 hack of Yahoo.

To learn more about Sushchin's most famous attack on Yahoo, download IntSights' report on 2017's Most Notable Hackers. 

Most Notable Hackers of 2017

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Itay Kozuch

Itay Kozuch

Itay Kozuch is the Director of Threat Research at IntSights. He is a cybersecurity expert with over a decade of experience managing cyber-security and threat research. Prior to IntSights, Itay served as a Manager and Head of Cyber Technologies at KPMG. He previously led cyber projects and served as a CISO for major companies in Europe, West Africa and Central America.