Police video cameras were rolling as cops in the Czech Republic, in a joint operation with the American FBI, arrested a man suspected of being a Russian computer hacker — a hacker who, investigators believe, targeted cyberattacks against the United States.
While it was unclear if the suspect was linked to hacks that the United States says are intended to influence the presidential election, ABC News reporter Mike Levine reported that a suspect arrested in Prague was connected to a “major hack” of the business-networking social media site LinkedIn.
Again, whether the LinkedIn suspect is the same man shown under arrest in the above video remains unclear.
The alleged Russian cyber hacker was busted back on October 5, according to The New York Times, but the arrest was not revealed until today, October 19.
A major hack of LinkedIn took place in 2012 and as late of May of this year, confidential details from more than 167 million LinkedIn user accounts were being sold and traded online, via the “dark web,” that is, on sites not accessible to search engines such as Google.
An Australian data security expert, Troy Hunt, created a database for users to easily check whether their information has been hacked, either as part of the LinkedIn hack, or hacks of other popular sites such as the data storage site DropBox. Access Hunt’s database at this link to see if your email address was hacked.
News of the Russia hacker arrest comes on the same day as the third and final presidential debate between Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton. The U.S. election — specifically, Clinton and the Democratic party — has been rocked by repeated leaks of confidential emails and other documents stolen by hackers and, in most cases, posted by the online site WikiLeaks.
The following report by CBS News contains further information on the arrest.
On October 7, two days after the arrest shown in the Czech police video, the Obama administration formally accused Russia of sponsoring the hacking attacks in an attempt to influence the U.S. election — presumably in Trump’s direction. Trump has frequently praised the leadership of Russian strongman Vladimir Putin, even saying just this week that he “could see myself” consulting Putin as part of his transition team, should Trump win the November election.
The man under arrest in the above video was identified only by the name Yevgeniy N., according to an NBC News report. He remains in Prague, Czech Republic, as a court there rules on his extradition to the United States.
Czech police said that the man was apparently so shocked by the arrest that he collapsed and required hospital treatment.
The Czech police also said that the man “drove around in a luxury car with his girlfriend.”