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Source in treason investigation says Russian Federal Security Service agents turned over hacker secrets to CIA for cold, hard cash
The treason case against a handful of former Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) agents was launched after the suspects passed several names and other information about Russian hackers to the CIA, an unnamed source reportedly close to the FSB told the TV station Dozhd. Ivan Pavlov, the lawyer for one of the treason suspects, has denied these allegations.
As director of the FSB’s Center for Information Security, Sergey Mikhailov — now a defendant in the treason case — investigated Russian cybercrimes and collected information about hackers. According to Dozhd’s source, Mikhailov and his accomplices sold some of this information to the U.S. government, allegedly leading to the apprehension of several Russian hackers abroad. The anonymous source claims that it was Mikhailov’s leak that allowed American officials to capture Roman Seleznev, known by the hacker handle “Track2,” in Maldives in 2014. In April 2017, Seleznev was sentenced to 27 years in prison on 38 different criminal convictions.
In February 2017, the news agency Rosbalt reported that the FSB agents in custody are accused of providing the CIA with information about “counterintelligence activities and specific names.” The data was reportedly taken from a special protected computer server.
The FSB has not officially disclosed the substance of its charges against the former agents.
Sergey Mikhailov, his former colleague Dmitry Dokuchayev, and former Kaspersky Lab expert Ruslan Stoyanov were arrested in December 2016, though the news was reported only a month later. Georgy Fomchenkov, presumably another former FSB agent, is also a suspect in the case.
After news of Mikhailov’s arrest, journalists learned that the former FSB cybercrimes chief also led the hacktivist group “Anonymous International,” known for leaking private correspondence among Kremlin-connected public figures. Police detained several of the hacktivist group’s members at the same time that they came for the supposedly treasonous FSB agents. Vladimir Anikeev, one of the group’s members, has already been sentenced to two years in prison for illegally accessing private information.
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