The FBI's San Francisco Division's special agent in charge Jack Bennett said the he is confident United States authorities will apprehend the three suspects, despite America not having an extradition treaty with Russian Federation.
US authorities may now be in a better position to figure out if Russian hackers and Russian spies swayed last year's presidential elections.
A second report now reveals that in order to actually breach the accounts they were targeting, the hackers first needed to hack just one single Yahoo employee.
"We are certainly seeing more and more use by nation states of criminal hackers", said Mary B. McCord, acting assistant attorney general for national security.
The two other men indicted were among the FSB's mercenaries, according to the US officials: Alexsey Belan, one of the FBI's most wanted alleged cybercriminals who was previously charged twice for hacking into tech firms in Nevada and California, and Karim Baratov, an alleged Kazakh-born hacker for hire living in Canada.
According to McCord, "The involvement and direction of FSB officers with law enforcement responsibilities make this conduct that much more egregious-there are no free passes for foreign state-sponsored criminal behavior".
Karim Baratov of Ancaster, another hacker and two alleged members of Russia's spy service face 47 charges.
The hack at the heart of the indictment occurred in late 2014 but was not made public until last September.
"More needs to be done", said Edward McAndrew, a former federal cybercrime prosecutor who now works at law firm Ballard Spahr.
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The database contained names, phone numbers, password challenge questions and answers and, crucially, password recovery emails and a cryptographic value unique to each account. The other was Dmitry Dokuchaev, described as a hacker for hire who was pressed into working for the FSB to avoid prosecution for bank-card fraud. Increasingly, it's a system that capitalizes on a vast and talented pool of Russian-speaking cyber criminals, blurring the lines between profit and intelligence gathering.
Recent events at the FSB only add to mysteries.
Also indicted in the alleged conspiracy that authorities said began in January 2014 were Dmitry Aleksandrovich Dokuchaev, 33, Igor Anatolyevich Sushchin, 43, and Alexsey Alexseyevich (Magg) Belan, 29, all Russian nationals and residents.
"Our job was to locate and arrest one of the people", police spokesman Mark Pugash said. Belan allegedly targeted anyone searching for erectile dysfunction medication.
The hack targeted the email accounts of Russian and US officials, Russian journalists, and employees of financial services and other businesses, officials said. He was paid $100 for each successfully hacked account, the indictment says. The Kremlin intelligence officials' targets included Russian journalists and government officials as well as senior officials of foreign governments and corporations.
US officials said Baratov also went by the names Kay, Karim Taloverov and Karim Akehmet Tokbergenov. "State actors may be using common criminals to access the data they want, but the indictment shows that our companies do not have to stand alone against this threat". The attackers were able to get their hands on two critical Yahoo resources that they used to trick Yahoo servers into thinking that they were the genuine account owners. Belan, who in 2013 was named by the Federal Bureau of Investigation as one of its most wanted cyber criminals, was arrested in Europe 2013, but escaped to Russian Federation.
Chief executive Marissa Mayer tweeted that Yahoo was "very grateful to the FBI & DOJ" for their work.
Kerry Carter, a neighbour of Baratov's, said he moved in about two years ago and was known in the neighbourhood for driving expensive cars and throwing loud parties. The company said at least 500 million user accounts were affected. The representative plaintiff, Natalia Karasik, of Barrie, Ont., heard from the company late past year that her information was stolen in a hack in 2013. In a 2004 interview with the Russian newspaper Vedomosti, Forb boasted of making money from credit-card fraud and breaking into US government websites.