Russia has arrested one of the top officials of Kaspersky, Ruslan Stoyanov – who was heading the computer incidents investigations unit at the anti-virus production firm.
To the surprise of global cybersecurity experts, he’s been charged with treason – for allegedly providing classified information on hacking to an unknown organisation.
According to Forbes, the case against him will be prosecuted under article 275 that is Russian criminal code, leading to secret military tribunal.
The news was broke by Kommersant, Russia’s leading newspaper, on Wednesday that the individual was arrested in December. It also informs that Sergi Mikhailov who heads a division at Russian intelligence service FSB also got arrested in the same matter.
Stoyanov had been associated with Kaspersky Lab since 2012, and headed the firm’s cybercrime investigation that eventually resulted in the arrest of 50 members of the Lurk cybercrime gang. The gang was allegedly involved in stealing over $45 million from Russian federal and civil financial institutions. This operation is considered the biggest cyersecurity scam in Russia.
Although, the firm creates consumer level antivirus and security apps, it also researches high value projects. This could be perhaps the probable reason for Stoyanov’s arrest under treason charges, as the country cannot afford losing ground to the United States.
Stoyanov wrote three blogs for his lab, discussing financially motivated crime that took place in Russia.
On the other hand, the firm has shown absolute disassociation from the entire matter and considered it taking place predating his employment at Kaspersky. The spokesperson showed unawareness of the case’s details and clarified that the Lab’s team is not under any effect.
The charges are levelled under Article 275 that accuses individuals of providing any sort of assistance that is considered anti-state to a foreign agency. It is still to be made clear that what potential punishment can be incurred, though the country has suspended executions since 1996.