One of Kaspersky Lab’s top security researchers, Ruslan Stoyanov, have been arrested by Russian authorities over what is deemed as charges of treason. This falls under article 275 of the Russian criminal code, and if found guilty, he could spend decades behind bars.
The information came from a Russian newspaper known as Kommersant. The paper claims Stoyanov was arrested back in December of 2016, along with Sergei Mikhailov who is the head of the information security department at the Russian Secret Service.
In a statement recently released by Kaspersky Lab, the company made it clear that Stoyanov was arrested due to activities he partook in before he was hired.
“The case against this employee does not involve Kaspersky Lab. The employee, who is Head of the Computer Incidents Investigation Team, 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.”
Not much is known about what Stoyanov has done, apart from little details released by Kommersant saying that he transferred funds to Mikhailov’s bank accounts via overseas company accounts. This could turn out to be a massive blow to Kaspersky should Stoyanov be found guilty of the crime he allegedly committed.
We took a look at Stoyanov’s LinkedIn account and found out that before he acquired the job of Head of the Computer Incidents Investigation Team at Kaspersky, he was Deputy Director at Indrik. Not only that, he worked as a Major at the Ministry of Interior’s Cyber Crime Unit.
Due to the nature of his alleged crimes, we are certain to learn more about the situation in the coming days or weeks.
It should be noted that Kaspersky Lab is known for working closely with the Russian government to track down and arrest criminals in Russia. The most recent successful collaboration between the two entities happened in 2016. Around 50 individuals were detained for creating the Angler exploit and the Lurk banking Trojan.