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Moscow 'Outraged' Over Prague's Decision To Extradite Alleged Russian Hacker To U.S.

April 02, 2018

Russia says the recent decision to extradite an alleged Russian hacker from the Czech Republic to the United States is aimed at "undermining" bilateral relations between Moscow and Prague.

The Foreign Ministry said in a statement on April 2 that Moscow was "outraged" at the extradition of Yevgeny Nikulin, who allegedly stole data and was wanted by both Russia and the United States.

Nikulin, 30, was arrested in Prague in 2016. He was extradited to the United States last week, and pleaded not guilty to charges that he hacked into the systems of U.S. technology firms, compromising the personal information of millions of people.

The Russian Foreign Ministry described the extradition as "a conscious, politically-motivated step by the Czech side aimed at undermining the constructive basis of bilateral cooperation, adding that Moscow would take "all necessary measures" to protect Nikulin's interests.

Nikulin pleaded not guilty to charges that include computer intrusion and identity theft at a court in San Francisco on March 30 after being extradited from the Czech Republic.

Czech Justice Minister Robert Pelikan made the decision to extradite the Russian hacker after the country's top court rejected a last-minute appeal from the Russian.

Nikulin is accused in the United States of hacking big Internet companies, including LinkedIn and Dropbox, in 2012 and 2013. He faces up to 30 years in prison if convicted to the charges against him.

LinkedIn, owned by Microsoft, has said the case was related to a breach that might have compromised the information of 100 million users or more.

Nikulin's lawyer said his client claimed the FBI was trying to link him to the hacking of the Democratic Party's servers during the 2016 U.S. presidential election campaign.

Nikulin is also wanted by Russia for alleged involvement in an online theft of about $2,000 in 2009.

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