Karim Baratov, a 22-year-old Canadian-Kazakh national charged in a U.S. investigation into a massive cyberattack against Yahoo, was known for driving luxury cars and throwing lavish parties at his Ancaster, Ont. home, according to neighbours and social media accounts.
Baratov was one of four suspects arrested in connection with the U.S. Justice Department investigation into the 2014 cyberattack that compromised more than half a billion user accounts.
Toronto police said Baratov was taken into custody without incident at his Ancaster home just after 8 a.m. Tuesday at the request of U.S. authorities.
“The Toronto Fugitive Squad was contacted by a number of agencies looking for their help with this very large international investigation. Their job was to locate and arrest Karim Baratov,” Toronto police spokesman Mark Pugash told Global News.
“They had a very specific job and they did what they were asked to do and they did it safely and without incident.”
Kerry Carter, a neighbour of Baratov’s, said he moved in about two years ago and was known in the neighbourhood for driving expensive cars and throwing loud parties.
“His parents either bought him the house or he’s either getting the money somewhere else. Because he doesn’t seem to work, all day he just drives up and down the street,” Carter told Global News.
“He always has a different coloured car … I just see him driving around town, like all around Ancaster, all day long with his girlfriends.”
Several social media accounts appearing to belong to Baratov showed him with numerous high-end luxury vehicles — including a Mercedes sedan, an Aston Martin, a blue Lamborghini and a black Porsche convertible.
Daniel Tobok, a cyber-security expert with Cytelligence in Toronto, said Baratov is not well known in the “security community,” adding he was surprised by the openness of his social media profiles.