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Kaspersky cybercrime investigator cuffed in Russian treason probe

Reports link arrest to receipt of money from foreign companies

A top cybercrime investigator at Kaspersky Lab has been arrested by Russian police investigating alleged treason.

Ruslan Stoyanov, head of the investigation unit at the Kaspersky Lab, is under investigation for a period predating his employment at the security software firm.

"This case is not related to Kaspersky Lab," the company said. "Ruslan Stoyanov is under investigation for a period predating his employment at Kaspersky Lab. We do not possess details of the investigation. The work of Kaspersky Lab's Computer Incidents Investigation Team is unaffected by these developments."

Russian language reports by Kommersant link Stoyanov's arrest to an investigation into Sergei Mikhailov, deputy head of the information security department of the FSB (the Russian national security service). Both were arrested in December as part of a probe over the receipt of money from foreign companies.

Prior to joining Kaspersky Lab in 2012, Stoyanov worked in the private sector and before that served as a major in the Ministry of Interior's cybercrime unit between 2000 and 2006. Stoyanov worked as lead investigator into a Russian hacking crew that extorted UK bookmakers through running DDoS attacks and more recently investigating the Lurk cybercrime gang.

Forbes, citing unnamed Russian information security sources, said the case against Stoyanov was filled under article 275 of Russia's criminal code, meaning it could be handled by a military tribunal.

Article 275 allows the Russian government to prosecute when an individual provides assistance to a foreign state or organisation regarding "hostile activities to the detriment of the external security of the Russian Federation". This is a broadly defined offence that might be taken to cover the sharing of threat intelligence data with foreign law enforcement or intel agencies. ®

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