Czech police arrest Russian hacker suspected of targeting the US

Czech police, working with the FBI, arrested the Russian man at a hotel in Prague

Police in the Czech Republic have arrested a Russian hacker suspected of targeting the U.S. for cyber crime.

Czech police, working in collaboration with the FBI, arrested the Russian man at a hotel in central Prague. He is currently in custody and now faces possible extradition to the U.S., depending on what the local courts decide, according to a statement from the Czech police.

The arrest comes as the U.S. has blamed Russian government for hacking U.S. officials and political groups in an effort to influence this year's upcoming election. However, it's unclear if the Russian hacker is in any way involved.

On Wednesday, the FBI would only confirm that the unnamed man had been arrested. "Due to the ongoing investigation, no additional details can be provided at this time," the agency said in an email.

The Czech police said that the Russian citizen had been found traveling in a luxury car with his girlfriend. Upon his arrest, the man offered no resistance, but immediately collapsed and was later hospitalized. Czech police have released video of his arrest, and his name is reportedly Yevgeniy N, according to the Associated Press. 

Although the suspect may face extradition to the U.S., the Russian government reportedly is insisting that the man be returned to his home country.

"We are in contact with his attorney," said Russian embassy spokesman Andrey Kolmakov, according to the country's state-run news agency Tass. "Russia repudiates Washington’s policy of imposing its extraterritorial jurisdiction on all countries."

Russian and Eastern European cyber criminals are seen as possible culprits behind the data breaches involving LinkedIn and Yahoo, according to security experts. Those breaches stole details from hundreds of millions of user accounts, including hashed passwords, but the full scale of the intrusions have only recently come to light.

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Michael Kan

IDG News Service
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