Russia detains cybersecurity CEO for treason | #cybersecurity | #cyberattack


Moscow — Following a recent arrest by a prominent Russian cybersecurity executive on suspicion of an attack on state authorities and a statement that some business leaders risk upsetting the country’s IT department. He was arrested on suspicion of treason.

Moscow’s Rehortovo District Court said Wednesday that Ilya Sachkov, CEO of Group-IB, which investigates and prevents cybercrime, will be detained for two months after being arrested on Tuesday.

Court spokeswoman Anastasia Romanova confirmed that Sachikov had been ordered to be detained until November 27, but was not allowed to provide details on the allegations and circumstances of the case. Said. Details of Russian treason cases that can result in imprisonment of up to 20 years are usually categorized.

Mr Sachikov’s legal representative was not immediately asked for comment. In a statement, Group-IB is considering a court statement, but said it was “confident in the innocence of the company’s CEO and the integrity of his business.”

The company confirmed on Tuesday that law enforcement officials had searched the Moscow office, but said the reason for the investigation was unclear.

Based in Singapore, Group-IB claims to be “one of the leading providers of solutions dedicated to detecting and preventing cyberattacks, identifying online fraud, investigating high-tech crimes and protecting intellectual property.”

Founded in 2003, 35-year-old Sachkov is well known in Russia’s business and IT departments. In 2019, he was one of the prestigious national award winners for SME representatives who met with Russian President Vladimir Putin. According to details released by the Russian national news agency TASS, the Kremlin leaders talked with the winners about how they came up with the project and what they are planning next.

Over the years, Sachikov has managed to attract private investors to Group IB. According to the company’s website, the company has offices in Amsterdam, Dubai, Kuala Lumpur and Hanoi, and its products are used in more than 60 countries. According to a May 2013 statement from an international intergovernmental organization, recommended by organizations for security and cooperation in Europe, the company “received credible information about new types of cyber threats.” I am.

Boris Titov, a Russian business ombudsman, has asked investigative authorities to provide details of Mr. Sachkov’s case or risk adverse effects from the IT community.

“Given the size and uniqueness of entrepreneur Sadchikov in the Russian IT industry as a whole, we need to explain the survey,” Titov said in a statement. “Otherwise, the attractiveness of the sector and its investment will be severely hit. IT will run out of nations.”

Dmitry Peskov, a Kremlin spokesman, told reporters Wednesday that the case would affect the corporate investment environment, as “accusations are not related to the economy, but to treason.” He said he wasn’t worried.

Sadchikov’s arrest on suspicion of attacking state authorities is the latest in a series of treason cases filed by Russian authorities in recent years, including against scholars, officials, and at least eight scientists. Some political observers and lawyers have accused him of emphasizing the government’s anxiety and distrust trying to secure Putin’s full control, and many have been accused of handing over confidential materials to other countries. They said they were.

“What we are seeing now is just a criminal case of national treason,” said NATO last year at the request of the United States for confidential information.

Until 2014, Pavlov was sentenced less than three times a year under articles on treason and espionage, according to official statistics from the Russian Ministry of Justice. Since then, he said, about 15 sentences have been passed each year.

Group-IB said its co-founder Dmitry Volkov will take over the leadership of the company in the near future and all departments will continue to operate normally.

“Group-IB’s decentralized infrastructure enables us to keep our customers safe, keep our business running, and work uninterrupted across offices in Russia and around the world,” the company said. ..

Write to Ann M. Simmons (ann.simmons@wsj.com)

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