The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) will soon officially announce charges against people who hacked Yahoo and compromised hundreds of millions of its users several years ago, sources familiar with the matter told CNN. The announcement is said to be made on Thursday as both the DOJ and the San Francisco branch of the FBI have scheduled press conferences for tomorrow. Neither agency disclosed the topic of their respective conference, but sources understand that both will talk about at least one of the two massive data breaches Yahoo suffered in recent years.
Authorities reportedly believe that a group of hackers responsible for attacks on Yahoo is connected to Russia, but it's still unclear whether that means they're directly linked to the Russian government. When announcing the 2014 hack that compromised 500 million user accounts last fall, Yahoo claimed that the attack was state-sponsored but refused to identify the country that it suspected financed the breach. However, the Sunnyvale-based Internet company expressed a firm belief that the attack was motivated by non-financial interests. If the DOJ and the FBI truly connect that breach to Russia, such a move could mark another strain in already tense relations between the United States and Russia. In the run-up to last year's U.S. presidential elections, numerous parties suggested that Russia is trying to hack the U.S. to help President Trump win the election. Members of the Democratic Party have also recently been calling for authorities to investigate the relationship between the 45th President of the United States and Russia, so official allegations of a Russian-sponsored attack on Yahoo would likely intensify their efforts to prove that President Trump has been compromised by Russia.
Following the announcement of official charges against perpetrators responsible for hacking Yahoo, the Sunnyvale-based company may finally be ready to sell its core business to Verizon, the largest wireless carrier in the country that's been trying to acquire Yahoo's Internet business since last year. The transaction would have likely been completed by now if Yahoo wasn't attacked but both parties delayed the deal until the second quarter of 2017 until authorities conclude their investigations into the matter.