The 2012 LinkedIn data breach was one of the largest ever reported. More than 117 million user credentials were stolen in the attack. This year those records were listed for sale online, although the individuals behind the cyberattack has remained a mystery. The data were listed for sale on Darknet marketplace theRealDeal recently by a hacker going by the name Peace_of_Mind (Peace). However, it is unclear whether Peace was responsible for the attack or was just selling the data.
However, Police in the Czech Republic believe they have apprehended one of the hackers behind the 2012 LinkedIn data breach in Prague. The arrest was made on October 5, although the announcement of the arrest was only made yesterday. The identity of the suspect is unknown, although NBC News has identified him as Yevgeniy N, who is understood to be of Russian origin. The suspect had apparently been driving around the city in a luxury car with his girlfriend. The arrest was made in a hotel in central Prague. It is unclear whether Yevgeniy N is Peace.
Czech police have been working closely with the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the United States in the search for the individuals responsible and bring them to justice.
According to a statement released by the Czech police, the suspect was shocked by the arrest and collapsed shortly afterwards, requiring him to be taken to hospital for treatment. Few other details have been released as the case against the suspected hacker is underseal. It is unlikely that further information will be released soon.
Following the 2012 LinkedIn data breach, the professional networking platform developer has been working closely with the FBI to bring the hackers to justice. According to a statement from a LinkedIn spokesperson, “We are thankful for the hard work and dedication of the FBI in its efforts to locate and capture the parties believed to be responsible for this criminal activity.” LinkedIn also confirmed that the hacker is one of the individuals believed to have been behind the 2012 LinkedIn data breach.
The fate of the suspect lies with a municipal court in Prague. A judge must now decide whether the suspect will be extradited to the United States to face trial for the alleged offenses. However, the Russian Embassy in Prague has made a request for the suspect to be handed over to Russia.
The arrest comes at a time when tensions are high between the United States and Russia, with Russia having recently been accused of funding hackers to conduct cyberattacks on organizations in the United States, in particular, attacks on the U.S. government and its electronic voting system. The arrest is unlikely to improve the relationship between the two countries and Russia is expected to vigorously fight the extradition of the suspect to the United States.