A federal grand jury in Oakland, California, indicted Yevgeniy Aleksandrovich Nikulin 29, of Moscow, Russia, yesterday for obtaining information from computers, causing damage to computers, trafficking in access devices, aggravated identity theft and conspiracy, announced U.S. Attorney Brian J. Stretch for the Northern District of California and Special Agent in Charge John F. Bennett of the FBI.
The indictment, unsealed today, alleges that Nikulin, accessed computers belonging to LinkedIn, Dropbox and Formspring, each of which has its headquarters in the San Francisco Bay Area. The indictment further alleges that the defendant accessed the computers without authorization and that he obtained information from the computers. According to the indictment, the defendant also caused damage to computers belonging to a LinkedIn employee and to Formspring by transmitting a program, information, code, or command. Nikulin also is alleged to have used the credentials of LinkedIn and Formspring employees in connection with the computer intrusions. Further, Nikulin is alleged to have engaged in a conspiracy with unnamed co-conspirators to traffic stolen Formspring user credentials. In all, Nikulin is charged with three counts of computer intrusion; two counts of intentional transmission of information, code, or command causing damage to a protected computer; two counts of aggravated identity theft; one count of trafficking in unauthorized access devices; and one count of conspiracy.
Nikulin was arrested on Oct. 5 by officials in the Czech Republic pursuant to an Interpol Red Notice based on a warrant issued in connection with a criminal complaint. He remains in custody in Prague, Czech Republic.
An indictment merely alleges that crimes have been committed, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle J. Kane, who is prosecuting the case, with the assistance of Melissa Dorton and Elise Etter. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the FBI with the assistance of authorities in the Czech Republic and the U.S. Department of Justice’s Criminal Division, Office of International Affairs.