Last week a Russian hacker, Yevegeniy Aleksandrovich Nikulin was arrested in the Czech Republic twelve hours after an International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) Red Notice was issued notifying law enforcement officials that Nikulin who operates with impunity inside Russia was vacationing with his girl friend in Prague. A Red Notice is akin to an international arrest warrant. Nikulin was under indictment in California for hacking into LinkedIn, Dropbox and another company, Formspring. Through hacking into these companies, Nikulin was able to steal personal information on more than 167 million people. Nikulin’s arrest came just two days after the Obama administration stated that it was the Russian government that had stolen emails from the Democratic National Committee and others in the United States. The Russian government has demanded that Nikulin be returned to Russia. A Czech judge has ordered Nikulin to remain in custody until an extradition hearing.
Nikulin is the second Russian hacker arrested when he has left the safe confines of Russian on vacation. In 2014, Roman Valerevich Seleznev was arrested in Guam and extradited to the United States where he was convicted of hacking into the cash register systems of American companies. Zeleznev was convicted on 38 counts last summer and is awaiting sentencing. In the wake of increased Russian hacking and cybercrimes being perpetrated against the American government, American companies and individuals, the Obama administration has indicated that it will be responding accordingly. Meanwhile an American vigilante hacker who goes by the name of “The Jester” hacked into the website of the Russian Foreign Affairs ministry and posted a threat that if Russia did not cease cybercrimes against the United States, he would hack Russian targets.