Russia arrests leading cybersecurity exec on treason charges
MOSCOW(AP) — A Russian court has taken a top cybersecurity executive into custody on charges of high-treason. This arrest shocked the Russian business community.
A Moscow court announced Wednesday that it had decided to hold Ilya Sachkov (founder and CEO of Group-IB), one of Russia’s most prominent cybersecurity companies, in detention for two months while she awaits trial and investigation.
The court did not provide any information about the case as the case files were classified. This is typical for treason cases in Russia.
According to Russian media reports Sachkov was taken into custody on Tuesday morning. Law enforcement also raided the Moscow offices of Group IB. On Wednesday, the company confirmed that the raid occurred.
Group-IB stated Wednesday that the raid took place and that the employees were confident of Sachkov’s innocence.
Russia’s State News Agency Tass reported that Sachkov insisted on his innocence, citing anonymous sources. The agency’s source alleged that Sachkov “worked for foreign intelligence services and passed on cybersecurity data that constitutes a state secret.”
Sachkov’s arrest on treason charges surprised many. Many were surprised by Sachkov’s arrest on treason charges.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov argued Wednesday that Sachkov’s case “has nothing to do with (Russia’s) business or investment climate,” because “accusations (against him) are not connected to the economy, they are connected to treason.”
Group-IB specializes in combating cyberattacks, online fraud and investigating high-tech cyber crimes. The company has many clients, including top Russian banks and state-run companies.
Group_IB was an official partner to the Interpol/Europol in investigating cyberfraud cases.