Flamboyant Russian hacker blindsided by U.S.-aided arrest, police say

PRAGUE, Czech Republic, Oct. 19 (UPI) — Czech authorities on Wednesday announced the arrest a Russian man suspected of helping to carry out cyber crimes against the United States, officials said.

The man, identified only as Yevgeniy N., was taken into custody in Prague on Oct. 5 with the help of the FBI, police officials said. Officials said the arrest occurred following a rapid exchange of information between Czech police and the FBI.

CBS News reported Wednesday that Czech authorities said the man had been traveling with a woman in “a very expensive car” and that the arrest came as “a surprise to him.”

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It wasn’t immediately disclosed what cyber crimes the man is suspected of participating in, but CBS News cited sources in reporting the recent high profile hacking of the Democratic National Committee is not one of them.

CBS News’ report said the 29-year-old man was wanted for hacking a private company four years ago.

it also wasn’t clear why authorities waited two weeks to announce the arrest.

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U.S. authorities have said Russian “actors” have been suspected in multiple cyberattacks on government websites in recent years. Those operators, however, are difficult to track down because of the anonymity the Internet provides.

Last week, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said accusations that Moscow has been involved in cyberattacks against the United States are “flattering” but “ridiculous.”

Web breaches have become a point of interest in recent weeks because of their connections to the U.S. presidential election.

In addition to the DNC breach, other hacks have been made against election-related targets like the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

Republican nominee Donald Trump generated controversy this summer when he invited Russian operators to hack into Democratic databases to mine information related to her email investigation — a statement he later said was a joke.

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