Organizations connected to the Russian billionaire Evgeny Prigozhin have been tied to multiple efforts to spy on journalists and they may even be behind a series of cyber-attacks on oppositionist activists in St. Petersburg, says the news agency Fontanka.ru.
Denis Korotkov, a journalist at Fontanka, wrote several articles mentioning Prigozhin in early June 2016 and soon after found himself the victim of a cyber-attack to steal his personal information.
The perpetrator, a Fontanka investigation showed, was registered under the username “Kriv Vetka” and was working from an IP-address registered to the company Glavset, which is the legal face behind the so-called “troll factory,” whose activities are widely believed to be sponsored by Prigozhin. According to Fontanka, it is, therefore, possible that Prigozhin’s organizations are linked to a series of cyber-attacks against St. Petersburg-based oppositionist activists.
It is known that the private data of at least three other victims in these cyber-attacks are now contained in a database on the website Whoiswhos.me, which is known to store information about bloggers who are critical of the Russian government.
Fontanka notes that the email address used in the attack against Korotkov is believed to belong to “troll-factory” employee Nikita Podgorny and is linked to the websites Whoiswho.org and Whoiswho.com.ua, both of which are owned by Whois Privacy Corp.
The police have two ways of identifying the authors of these threats. The first is to track the attackers' IP addresses and Internet providers. One official inquiry, and the authorities would have their full names or the information of the legal entity [behind the attack]. The second way assumes the attackers knew their victims' home addresses, which means they could have been using sources in the police force.