Federal prosecutors on Wednesday showcased their skills and appetite for tackling nation-state cyberthreats with an unprecedented indictment of Russian intelligence officials on charges of stealing data from at least 500 million Yahoo accounts, a case that may make businesses more willing to cooperate with government investigations, attorneys say.

The groundbreaking indictment handed down by a grand jury in the Northern District of California charges two officers of the Russian Federal Security Service and two private hackers hired by them with conspiring to hack into Yahoo's systems to pilfer scores of user data that were then used to obtain unauthorized access to the contents of other Yahoo and Google accounts, including those of Russian journalists, Russian and U.S. government officials, and employees of commercial entities such as a Russian investment banking firm, U.S. financial services and private equity firms, and a U.S. airline.

"This indictment provides fresh insight into what private entities and individual victims are up against in the cybercrime world," said former federal prosecutor Ed McAndrew, a partner at Ballard Spahr LLP.
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