How Russian Hackers Became a Kremlin Headache

Leonid Bershidsky reports:

The recent arrests of Russian cybersecurity officials in Moscow likely had little to do with last year’s U.S. election. The story behind them, however, sheds some light on the relationship between the Russian government and the hackers who work for it.

The web of names and their interconnections can be a little hard to follow but is worth it. It shows that these hackers — some of whom are intelligence offices — are often essentially privateers, engaged in their own freelance business projects as well as official government business. The Moscow arrests have been reported piecemeal by Russia media over the last week. The arrestees include Sergei Mikhailov, deputy head of the Information Security Center at the FSB, the domestic intelligence service,  Major Dmitry Dokuchaev of the same unit and Ruslan Stoyanov, an employee of cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab, who previously served at the Interior Ministry’s cybercrime unit. Another civilian, former journalist Vladimir Anikeev, was also arrested.

Read more on Bloomberg.

See also this interview of Alexsandr Michailov on Realnoe Vremya. And read how Brian Krebs ties in a well-known name to the whole story.

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