- The Washington Times - Saturday, July 8, 2017

An extradition hearing has been set in the case of Karim Baratov, a Canadian man wanted by U.S. prosecutors in relation to an international cybercrime ring implicated in hacking over a half-billion Yahoo accounts.

Attorneys for Mr. Baratov and the Justice Department will argue his fate before a Canadian judge on Sept. 8, Justice Andrew Goodman ordered Friday during a court hearing in Hamilton, Ontario.

Mr. Baratov, 22, was arrested in March under the Extradition Act and is wanted by U.S. prosecutors in connection with charges related to the colossal Yahoo breach that compromised upwards of 500 million user accounts in 2014.

The Justice Department alleges Mr. Baratov assisted three Russian men — including two intelligence officers — wage a wide-scale hacking scheme targeting journalists, politicians and private-sector employees by helping its architects breach a handful of internet accounts using previously stolen Yahoo credentials.

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, Baratov, a resident of Canada, with obtaining unauthorized access to more than 80 accounts in exchange for commissions,” the Justice Department claimed in court filings.

While not implicated in the actual Yahoo breach, prosecutors have charged the Canadian with 10 related counts ranging from computer hacking and wire fraud to economic espionage.

Despite fighting extradition, however, his attorney indicated Friday that it may be only a matter of time before Mr. Baratov stands trial stateside. Defense attorney Amedeo DiCarlo told CBC that he’s been meeting with Justice Department officials in Washington and Los Angeles in an effort to reach a resolve, including the possibility of outright waiving extradition and going to trial.

“Karim wants out, and he wants this closed,” Mr. DiCarlo told CBC.

Mr. Baratov is slated to appear again in court July 19, CBC reported.

Mr. Baratov wasn’t the only accused hacker to have an extradition hearing set Friday, either. The U.K.’s High Court also announced Friday it’ll hear arguments in late November concerning the fate of Lauri Love, a 32-year-old British man accused of hacking multiple American agencies including the Federal Reserve and NASA. He faces decades behind bars if convicted in the U.S. and is appealing his extradition on humanitarian grounds.

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

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