A U.S. judge on Tuesday sentenced Yevgeniy Nikulin to seven years in prison, ending an international legal drama that "involved" three countries for eight years. Prosecutors had suggested the defendant be sentenced to 12 years in prison.
In July, Nikulin, 33, was found guilty of violating LinkedIn and Formspring which took place in 2012, where he stole the credentials of 117 million Americans. He was accused in 2016 of invading computers and theft of US citizens' usernames and passwords. He then tried to sell them to other members of a Russian-speaking hacking forum.
Nikulin has been in jail for almost 48 months, his lawyer said.
During the hearing, Nikulin's lawyer argued that the proposed sentence was based on the loss of data from LinkedIn and other hacking victims that were not based on reality. None of the 100 million victims showed up, stating that the theft of data harmed him financially. The reported multimillion-dollar losses were also overstated, Gasner said.
During the trial, which was suspended for weeks due to the COVID-19 pandemic, prosecutors described Nikulin as the digital version of an audience thief who just stole huge amounts of information. Defense attorneys, meanwhile, argued that there was a different perpetrator, maybe a government hacker. In the end, however, Nikulin was convicted.
Judge Alsup of Northern California repeatedly tried to expedite the trial, reminding government prosecutors that Nikulin has been in prison for years.
The case pointed out how the defendants carried out their attacks and the Russian services information they knew exactly what they were doing. During that year, the US Department of Justice "opened" the dossier of other court documents accusing other Russian men of being involved in Nikulin's plan to smuggle stolen goods. credentials.
Czech law enforcement authorities first arrested Nikulin in 2016 and then extradited him to the United States after the Russian government submitted its own extradition request. The case has been among several criminal charges since various Russian men were charged with a number of cybercrimes. All this led a Russian lawmaker to complain that the American police "Chases Russian citizens" around the world.