ShinyHunters Fall: French Hacker Nets 3 Years & $5 Million Fine
Recently, a 22-year-old French citizen was sentenced to three years in prison for his involvement with the hacker group ShinyHunters.
Sébastien Raoult, better known as Sezyo Kaizen, was extradited to the United States in January 2023 following his arrest in Morocco in 2022. He pleaded guilty to orchestrating fraud using electronic means, extorting significant sums, and other crimes. Furthermore, he is now mandated to pay restitution totaling 5 million dollars.
According to the charges brought by prosecutors in the Western District of Washington, Raoult, along with two accomplices, breached more than 60 companies globally. The stolen data was posted on dark web platforms such as RaidForums, EmpireMarket, and Exploit. In some instances, they demanded ransom for the removal of sensitive information.
In 2020 and 2021, ShinyHunters carried out a series of cyberattacks on major organizations, including clothing retailer Bonobos, the photo application Pixlr, and Microsoft’s GitHub account. The group also claimed to possess data from 70 million AT&T accounts, although the company refuted the hacking claim at the time.
The U.S. Department of Justice reports that Raoult and his co-conspirators created counterfeit websites, mimicking the login pages of real companies, and sent phishing emails to employees. Once a victim entered their credentials, the hackers gained full access to their accounts. “Hundreds of millions of customer records” were stolen, resulting in losses totaling around 6 million dollars.
“This is an extraordinarily serious offense. We’re talking about him robbing people of millions of dollars,” noted U.S. District Judge Robert S. Lasnik during the sentencing.
Raoult’s father informed DataBreaches.net that the sentence includes time already served in Morocco and Seattle, leaving the hacker with only 11 more months in prison.
During the trial, Raoult stated, “I understand my mistakes and I want to put that part behind me. No more hacking. I don’t want to disappoint my family again”