Kaspersky Lab top manager arrested over treason tells how Russia recruits cyber fraudsters

Kaspersky Lab top manager arrested over treason tells how Russia recruits cyber fraudsters
Ruslan Stoyanov

Kaspersky Lab Top Manager Ruslan Stoyanov, a defendant in the case of high treason (the defendants of which also include the FSB Information Security Center officers), has presented an appeal to the Russian authorities and public.⁠

Kaspersky Lab Top Manager Ruslan Stoyanov, a defendant in the case of high treason (the defendants of which also include the FSB Information Security Center officers), has presented an appeal to the Russian authorities and public. The letters were dictated during meetings with the defenders. Dozhd TV Channel has come into possession of those copies, and Stoyanov’s lawyer has confirmed their authenticity.

In his appeals, Stoyanov talks about how the Russian authorities recruit cyber fraudsters to perform state tasks. According to him, they are offered protection from the special services as payment.

“Moreover, recently there have been evidences of ‘patriotization’ of Russian-speaking cybercrime community, as well as attempts to reach agreement between cyber fraudsters and state officials. The essence of the deal is that the state gets access to the technologies and information of ‘cyber thieves’ in exchange for permission to steal abroad with impunity,” Stoyanov explains. In another letter, he warns about the dangers of such a partnership. He believes that it leads to “a new crime wave within the country.”

“The worst scenario is to give cyber criminals immunity from punishment for stealing money in other countries in exchange for intelligence information. If this happens, a whole layer of ‘patriotic thieves’ will emerge, which violates the principles of the rule of law and the inevitability of punishment,” Stoyanov writes.

According to him, when facing difficulties in attacking international financial organizations, the hackers will “turn their attention to where everything is in Russian, discarding their patriotic fervor.” “There will be a new wave of crimes in Russia,” Stoyanov warns.

Kleptocratic threat to the future of Russia. Arrested Kaspersky manager’s appeal to the authorities.

Stoyanov writes that there is “a nightmare coming the way” of the country, in which he, who once fought against cybercrime and neutralized the once-known gang of swindlers (Lurk), is now imprisoned in Lefortovo, and the state intentionally creates conditions for increasing the number of thieves via the Internet.

If Russia decides to “nail the wave of patriotic hacking,” it will immediately face the enormous technological and personnel superiority of the new Russian cybercrime community, Stoyanov warns. As an example, he speaks about the investigation into the Lurk group’s infrastructure, which took Kaspersky Lab about two years to complete.

Lurk is a group of hackers who stole about two billion rubles (35.5 million dollars) from bank accounts of Russians. For cyberattacks, attackers used the Trojan virus Lurk, which was created by programmers from the Sverdlovsk region. The gang comprised of more than 40 people.

“Just imagine that such a group would have been advised by civil servants, and part of employees of the Kaspersky Lab would have been already arrested, while the other part (the experts’ department) would have been not workable. This looks like a complete nightmare. And this nightmare is becoming more real,” Stoyanov concludes.

Stoyanov writes that he ended up behind bars as he “brought the repression upon himself” due to working with staff security officials. He attributes his arrest to a denunciation. “It’s obvious that it was a denunciation, as it was even circulated in the press,” he says.

“I was thrown into the most severe prison on charges of high treason. They made it all secret and deprived me of my voice, so that my affairs wouldn’t undermine the stability of the posts and merits of the generals, and would not harm the ‘business’ of patriot thieves,” the Kaspersky Lab ex-top manager writes.

Stoyanov has been in the Lefortovo pre-trial detention center since December 2016. He is accused of high treason together with Head of the FSB Information Security Center Sergey Mikhailov and his deputy Dmitry Dokuchaev. In the Kaspersky Lab, Stoyanov used to head the Cybercrime Investigation Department, which, according to Kommersant, closely cooperates with law enforcement agencies.

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