In Moscow, two senior officials the field of cybersecurity charged with treason for collaborating with the CIA, reports the Russian news Agency.
The charges are additional intrigue in the mysterious scandal that caused the proliferation of many rumors in Moscow last week. This happened shortly after American intelligence has accused Russia of meddling in elections in the United States and the hacking of the servers of the Democratic party.
Sergey Mikhailov was Deputy head of the Center for information security of the FSB. On his arrest it became known after a series of leaks last week, together with him were arrested his Deputy and a number of civilians, but the news on Tuesday went much further.
“Sergei Mikhailov and his Deputy, Dmitry Dokuchaev, are accused of violating the oath and collaboration with the CIA,” said Agency “Interfax”, citing a source familiar with the investigation.
Hardly news Agency would have published it without official permission, although this does not necessarily mean that the information is true.
The report does not say, blame men that they are CIA agents or that they passed on the information through intermediaries.
As previously reported in the Russian media, Mikhailov was arrested some time ago, in a theatrical manner, at the plenary session of the top FSB on his head, put a sack and brought out of the room, accusing him of treason.
His Deputy, Dokuchaev, as suggested, is a well-known Russian hacker nicknamed Forb, he began to work the FSB a few years ago to avoid prison for his hacking activities.
Besides the two officers of the FSB, a few weeks ago, was also arrested Ruslan Stoyanov, head of Department of research of computer incidents “Kaspersky Lab”.
Last week Kaspersky confirmed that Stoyanov was arrested and is in jail Moscow, although he said that arrest was not connected with his work in the company. “Interfax” reported that he was arrested four people and eight more are potential witnesses in the case.
It is believed that Dokuchaev and Mikhailov charged with treason, which carries a penalty of up to 20 years in prison. The charge of treason means that any trial be held in secret.
Arrests and charges of treason, shortly after us intelligence has accused Russia of meddling in the election process in the United States and the hacking of the servers of the Democratic party, inevitably the question of whether these arrests with the history of elections in the United States.
In a weekend New York Times quoted one former and one current official of the United States, which reported that information from the agents helped the US authorities to determine what kind of hacker attacks is Russia. In available for public the report is not there most of the real evidence that would confirm the findings, but if involved Russian sources, of course, this is not misleading.
Though the arrest information was entered in blocks, difficult to decipher, it was clear that within the FSB there is something very strange. In the city, where the leak of information about such cases almost eliminated, several Russian media were given different versions of the story from insiders. We can assume that this is either a carefully organized attempt to obtain information or factions are trying different ways to present this story.
Most of the information suggests that the arrests are connected with the “Humpty Dumpty”, a group of hackers that became notorious after the publication of the emails of officials of the Kremlin. According to reports, a former journalist, Vladimir Anikeyev, presumably, the head of the group, is also one of those arrested.
In the summer of 2014 the representative of “Humpty Dumpty” met with The Guardian, in the city outside of Russia, provided that the article will not be described neither the place nor the appearance of the interlocutor.
The interview took place in a little-known boat club on the outskirts of a European capital. The man in the flowered shirt came over on a boat in the middle of the river and began to speak only after he has played loud music in the cabin, so nobody was listening.
The man who introduced himself as Humpty, said that the group consists of hackers and, perhaps disgruntled officials, and it has a large archive of unused material that it may publish in the future. He claimed that the group has everything from records every meal of Vladimir Putin in the past few years to several thousand letters sent to the inner circle of the President.
As evidence, he pulled out a notebook and opened up what at first glance seemed to be the email archive of a high-ranking Kremlin official. He suggested that the group would be prepared to provide information to customers who can pay.
Mikhailov proposed role in the scheme of “Humpty Dumpty” is unclear. Another source in the intelligence described the alleged scheme “Interfax”: “Each of the participants doing his job. Some people have developed and implemented cyber-attacks, while others worked with foreign intelligence. These processes occurred in parallel but do not intersect”.
Some believe that Humpty Dumpty was able to participate in the transmission of information by Western intelligence, others believe that the emergence of a group in this case is a ploy to divert attention from the real story of hacker attacks in the election.
“Personally, I think these leaks [of information] about “Humpty Dumpty” in a hasty attempt to hide the truth,” said Andrei Soldatov, co-author of the recently released book about the Russian Internet and cyber security. “Mikhailov and Stoyanov were the real experts in one, digital underground, and not that published “Humpty Dumpty”. So, if the accusations of treason and has some truth, the information which they could pass, probably, dealt with informal players in a hacking scheme hacking democracy.”
On Tuesday, “Life”, online news portal with close ties with the security services, reported that FSB officers raided the home and garden Mikhailov and found more than $ 12 million (£10 million) in cash hidden in various caches.