Russia Arrests Cybersecurity Official for Treason | Economic news


MOSCOW (AP) – Russian authorities have arrested an executive of a major cybersecurity company for high treason, a move that has sent shock waves through the Russian business community.

A Moscow court on Wednesday announced a decision to place Ilya Sachkov, founder and CEO of Group-IB, one of Russia’s leading cybersecurity companies, in detention for two months pending investigation and a trial.

The court gave no details on the case against the executive because the cases were closed, the Interfax news agency reported, as is the case in the treason cases in Russia.

According to Russian media, Sachkov was arrested on Tuesday morning and the police raided the offices of Groupe-IB in Moscow. The company confirmed on Wednesday that the raid had taken place.

In a statement released Wednesday, Group-IB said company employees were “confident” of their bosses’ innocence and “honest business reputation.” The company declined to comment on the charges against Sachkov or the details of the case, citing ongoing legal proceedings.

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Russian state news agency Tass reported, citing anonymous sources, that Sachkov also insisted on his innocence. The agency’s source alleged that Sachkov “worked for foreign intelligence services and transmitted cybersecurity data which constitutes a state secret.”

Sachkov’s arrest for treason surprised many. Russian business ombudsperson Boris Titov demanded that investigators “explain themselves”, “given the caliber and uniqueness of entrepreneur Sachkov for the whole of Russia’s IT industry.”

If the authorities do not explain their case against Sachkov, “a critical blow will be dealt to the sector and its attractiveness for investment,” Titov said.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday that the Sachkov affair “has nothing to do with the business or investment climate (of Russia)” because “the accusations (against him) are not linked to the economy, they are linked to betrayal ”.

Group-IB specializes in the fight against cyber attacks, online fraud and high-tech cyber crime investigations. Major Russian banks and companies, including state-run ones, are among the company’s clients.

Group-IB has assisted Russian authorities in investigating cyber fraud cases and is also said to be an official partner of Interpol and Europol.

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