Team Navalny blames email database leak on employee recruited by Russia’s FSB
In the aftermath of a database of email addresses registered for the upcoming “Freedom for Navalny!” protest leaking online, Navalny’s chief of staff Leonid Volkov claims that the information was stolen by an Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) employee who was recruited by the Russian FSB.
“Technically, as always, 99 percent of hacker attacks happen through an insider, through a mole. Our former employee with access was able to download the mail server logs,” Volkov said during a Navalny Live YouTube broadcast on Monday, April 19.
Volkov explained that Team Navalny was always aware that the FSB had been “hunting” for FBK employees who they can “intimidate and bribe.” Apparently there have been several cases where such people were identified and subsequently fired from the organization. In the case of the email database leak, the employee, whose name wasn’t disclosed, “had been deprived of all access,” but the team was unaware that “he still had access to the mail server logs.”
“Nothing else got out. No personal data, no names, no addresses, nothing. Only a list of emails,” Volkov underscored.
That said, as reported by the independent channel TV Rain on Monday, several people whose email addresses were included in the leak have begun to receive emails containing their personal information. A TV Rain correspondent received an email that included his full name, date of birth, and registered address. The sender also threatened to send a similar email to his employer (thus revealing the employee’s intention to take part in the pro-Navalny protest).
Navalny’s associates announced the next round of “Freedom for Navalny!” protests back in March and launched a dedicated website where his supporters could sign up to participate. Though they initially planned to disclose the time and date of the rallies after 500,000 people registered with the campaign, on April 18 they announced plans for an upcoming demonstration; the signature drive had attracted 460,000 people at the time.