The Bell: FSB and Main Intelligence Directorate rivaled during US cyberattacks
FSB officers leaked specific names of experts that hacked the servers of the US Democratic Party to the CIA.
The former Head of the 2nd Directorate of the Center for Information Security (CIS) of the FSB, Colonel Sergey Mikhailov, accused of treason, conveyed information about the involvement of Russian authorities in hacking attacks on the servers of the US Democratic Party to Washington, The Bell writes with reference to unnamed sources.
Mikhailov, his subordinate Dmitry Dokuchaev and a member of Kaspersky Lab, Ruslan Stoyanov, were arrested in December last year. The Bell's sources close to the investigation note that formally they are accused of selling US intelligence services operational documents, related to the activities of the owner of the Chronopay payment service, Pavel Vrublevsky. He is a witness in this case.
It is remarked that American cyber security experts were able to detect traces of hacking of the Democratic Party servers and where they lead. However, they could learn specific names only from a person that has access to sensitive information.
According to the US intelligence services, it was the Main Directorate of Intelligence (MDI) of the Ministry of Defense of Russia that was behind the attacks, which competed with the FSB for budgetary funds. Notably, both structures were engaged in the attacks. The company Crowdstrike announced the discovery of traces of two different hacker groups - Cozy Bear and Fancy Bear, whose specialists used the Latin alphabet and rested during all-Russian holidays.
At the same time, Mikhailov, according to his friend, blasted the MDI, which breaks the servers "brazenly, clumsily and rudely", which "interfered with the work of his department." The Bell's source adds that it was the MDI that could orchestrate the persecution of Mikhailov and other defendants in the case.
At the same time, Mikhailov's friends told the publication that he had only helped the CIA in nabbing the hackers, who were engaged in financial crimes. All together, he passed such information up to ten times. Moreover, his long-time friend Ruslan Stoyanov acted as a come-between in a number of cases.
Earlier it was reported that it was thanks to the information received from 'Mikhailov's group' that the US authorities managed to arrest in November 2014 Roman Seleznev, the son of State Duma deputy from the LDPR Valery Seleznev. Now Seleznev Jr. is found guilty in the United States of cyber-fraud worth $170 million and sentenced to 27 years' imprisonment.
Remarkably, in November 2017 Canada rounded up a hacker from Kazakhstan, Karim Baratov, who, according to the American investigation, acted on FSB instructions. Baratov admitted that he had hacked over 11 thousand Yahoo accounts in the interests of the FSB. The investigation believes that the recruiters of Baratov were Dmitry Dokuchaev and another FSB officer Igor Shchusin.
Previously, there was also an inference that the arrests of FSB officers were related to the criminal prosecution of hacker group Shaltay Boltay, hacking mailboxes and accounts of officials and businessmen for several years.