03/06/2015 02:06 EST | Updated 05/06/2015 05:59 EDT

Email data hack in U.S. leads to arrest of Canadian

Three people, including two Vietnamese citizens and one Canadian, have been accused of being involved in hacking email service providers south of the border, the U.S. Department of Justice says.

The email hacking was one of the largest reported data breaches in U.S. history, the Department of Justice said in a statement released Friday.

David-Manuel Santos Da Silva of Montreal was indicted by a federal grand jury for aiding Viet Quoc Nguyen and Giang Hoang Vu, two Vietnamese citizens who were operating in the Netherlands, "to generate revenue from the computer intrusions and data thefts."

According to the statement, Nguyen and Vu of Vietnam are accused of stealing confidential information from at least eight email service providers in the U.S. between February 2009 and June 2012, and used it to send spam emails to "tens of millions of email recipients."

"These men — operating from Vietnam, the Netherlands, and Canada — are accused of carrying out the largest data breach of names and email addresses in the history of the internet," said the Department of Justice's assistant attorney General Caldwell.

"The defendants allegedly made millions of dollars by stealing over a billion email addresses from email service providers."