A Canadian man charged with aiding Russian hackers accused of breaching a half-billion Yahoo accounts in 2014 has pleaded not guilty before a U.S. judge upon being extradited stateside this week five months after being arrested near Hamilton, Ontario.
Karim Baratov, 22, entered his plea during a hearing at San Francisco federal court Wednesday and has been remanded pending further proceedings Tuesday, his U.S.-based attorney, Andrew Mancilla, told Toronto’s CTV afterwards.
Mr. Baratov was arrested under the Extradition Act in March and was subsequently indicted by the U.S. Justice Department on 11 charges connected to an international hacking campaign allegedly orchestrated by Russian intelligence agents involving hundreds of millions of breached Yahoo accounts.
The Russians supplied Mr. Baratov with the stolen Yahoo credentials and then hired him to use that information to breach additional internet accounts belonging to various journalists, politicians and private sector employees, according to U.S. prosecutors.
When “a target of interest had accounts at webmail providers other than Yahoo, including through information obtained as part of the Yahoo intrusion, they tasked their co-conspirator, Mr. Baratov, a resident of Canada, with obtaining unauthorized access to more than 80 accounts in exchange for commissions,” the Justice Department alleges.
Mr. Baratov had planned to fight against facing charges in the U.S., but waived his right to an extradition hearing during a Friday hearing in Hamilton.
“We’re anxious to get him down there,” said his Canadian attorney, Amadeo DiCarlo, CBC reported at the time.
Mr. Baratov currently faces charges including including aggravated identity theft, conspiracy to commit computer fraud and abuse and conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and faces more than 27 years if convicted on all counts.