US prosecutors asked a California federal judge to sentence 32-year-old Russian citizen Yevgeny Nikulin to 12 years in prison for hacker attacks on LinkedIn and Formspring social networks, as well as on Dropbox file exchange service.
According to Law360, which references the court, prosecutors stressed that the Russian national expressed neither remorse nor regret regarding his criminal activities during the trial. Therefore, they believe, he will continue to pose a threat if extradited to his homeland.
Yevgeny Nikulin does not plead guilty. His defense requested his detention be limited to the period that he already served in custody (almost 2.5 years) and deport the man to his homeland.
In July of this year, a jury in San Francisco found Yevgeny Nikulin guilty of stealing data from 112 million users of the services he had hacked. The jury found that he was responsible for one of the largest data breaches in US history.
Czech law enforcement officers detained Yevgeny Nikulin in Prague in October 2016 as a result of a special operation that was carried out in cooperation with FBI agents at the request of Interpol. The same month, a California jury charged him with hacker attacks in the United States. According to US law enforcement authorities, Nikulin hacked into the computer networks of LinkedIn, Dropbox and Formspring in 2012 and stole the data of tens of millions of users (LinkedIn noted that the data of about 100 million users could be compromised as a result of the attack).
In November 2016, Russia sent a request to the Czech Ministry of Justice to extradite Nikulin. In Russia, he was accused of stealing $3,500 through Webmoney service in 2009. The Czech Republic approved Nikulin's extradition to both countries.
Nikulin asked for political asylum in the Czech Republic, but his requested was dismissed. In February 2018, the head of the Czech Ministry of Justice received a recommendation from the President of the Republic, Milos Zeman, to deliver Nikulin to Russia, rather than to the United States. However, against the backdrop of a scandal with the poisoning of Sergei Skripal in the UK, the Czech Republic decided to join the countries that supported London in the scandal, including the United States.
In April 2018, Nikulin was delivered to the United States. The Constitutional Court of the Czech Republic subsequently ruled that decision illegal, but it could no longer help Nikulin.