FSB arrests co-workers accused of hacking
The Federal Security Service (FSB) has arrested hackers who have been working undercover in their agency for ages.
There is defendant number three in the scandalous criminal case of high treason, which previously involved top manager of Kaspersky Lab Ruslan Stoyanov and Deputy Head of the FSB Information Security Center (ISC) Sergey Mikhailov. According to media reports, the accused is Mikhailov’s subordinate, FSB detective Dmitry Dokuchaev. However, none of the Moscow courts could confirm the information that employees of special services have been arrested.
Another FSB officer, Dmitry Dokuchaev, has been arrested as part of the criminal case against Head of the division in the FSB ISC Sergey Mikhailov and an employee of Kaspersky Lab, who were accused of high treason. Dokuchaev was arrested in December 2016, and all connections with him were cut since that time, RNS reported. This information was confirmed by people associated with the FSB officer. The agency mentioned that Dmitry Dokuchaev served as senior special investigative agent of the 2nd department of the FSB ISC operative management. The department did not respond on RNS inquiry.
Meanwhile, Gazeta.Ru found that Dmitry Dokuchaev proved to be quite a famous person among hackers. In 2012, the users of Internet forums had discussions about an employee of the Hacker magazine, who was leading a ‘Vzlom’ (‘Crack’) column under the nickname Forb, at the same time working as a detective in the FSB ISC.
"For instance, the person you are discussing here — Forb, as they call him — is none other than Dmitry Dokuchaev, who works in the Federal Security Service," wrote a user under an ironic nickname Forbreal. "If you examine the departmental ‘table of ranks’ of this respected ‘agency’ (I'm leafing through the internal database of our office), you can easily find our colleague. So, this is... senior investigative agent of the 2nd department of the Information Security Center (ISC) at FSB. His rank is not high though, a senior lieutenant. If we consider that he had finished high school in 2005, and started working right after that, then his career path holds nothing of particular interest — just another rank with no swift upward moves."
Then Forbreal expertly refers to Dokuchaev’s biography. Allegedly, in his youth he was a budding hacker, but came to the attention of the FSB on suspicion of cybercrime.
"For this young fellow, the career path was quite straightforward — Forb is from Yekaterinburg, where he graduated from a technical university," the anonymous user explains. "At the time he was under the official cover of an administrator in the university’s department, where he was first granted unlimited access to computer networks and various computers. He was professionally trained in programming and was an administrator for a few servers. He even had time to do sports. However, his cooperation ‘with the authorities’ started with interrogation, when we showed him all his offenses, everything from the first hacking of regional provider to US government websites. Of course, nobody wanted to give in the ‘young professional’ to the FBI, and so he was simply offered a choice — either a five-year job contract, or a three times longer term in prison. The fact that there will be no computers in custody was the decisive argument."
The anonymous user also pointed out that Dokuchaev’s work in the Hacker magazine had allegedly helped to seek and recruit promising hackers and programmers.
Internet archives still contain articles by the name of ‘Dmitry Dokuchaev aka Forb.’ For example, in the 77th issue of the Hacker magazine Dokuchaev taught how to become a hacker.
"It's no secret that some 20 years ago Hackers were not criminals, who had contracts to hack servers, but talented programmers, well versed in their craft," Dokuchaev wrote. "In my understanding, a hacker is a diversified person who knows the theory of network errors and successfully applies the knowledge in practice. In addition, a hacker must have programming skills, know at least two operating systems, and, of course, have important connections and reputation among other hackers."
Gazeta.Ru tried to contact the Hacker magazine to find out whether their author had indeed been Dmitry Dokuchaev, detained for treason along with Head of the FSB ISC Sergey Mikhailov and Kaspersky Lab top manager Ruslan Stoyanov. However, no comment was provided.
Meanwhile, the criminal case itself already has at least one oddity. Gazeta.Ru sent inquiries to all the Moscow courts, both civilian and military, aksing to confirm the arrest of Mikhailov and Stoyanov. However, the courts stated that the investigation had not contacted them with a request for the arrest of the said people.
This may mean that the arrest took place in a different region, not in Moscow, and was carried out in a high-security manner. At the very least, the arrest was confirmed by the lawyer of one of the defendants, Ivan Pavlov.
"I cannot disclose the name of the person we are defending yet. This case already has more than two defendants, all of them were arrested in December 2016 and are already in the status of the accused," Pavlov told Kommersant "The criminal case is run by the FSB Investigation Department and concerns disclosure of state secrets."
Curiously, according to Tsargrad website, the Deputy Head of the FSB ISC was involved in the activities of the group of hackers called Shaltay-Boltay (Humpty-Dumpty) and could be their immediate supervisor and patron.
The Anonymous International group, also known as Shaltay-Boltay, became perhaps the most famous group of hackers in modern Russia, specializing in leaks regarding policymakers. They published a conversation, allegedly among Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich and Kremlin chef Yevgeny Prigozhin; hacked Twitter account of Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, and auctioned alleged correspondence between Medvedev’s press secretary Natalia Timakova and Head of Roskomnadzor Alexander Zharov. Subsequently, the arrays of stolen data were offered for sale.
As previously reported by the media, Kaspersky Lab employee Ruslan Stoyanov has been at Lefortovo pre-trial detention center since December 2016.
The company's press service confirmed the arrest, adding that the investigation was not related to the company and was "conducted against a private person."
Sergey Mikhailov, the head of a division at the FSB ISC was arrested in the same case. A total of four people are considered defendants, including another employee of the FSB ISC.