Russian cyber security expert arrested on suspicion of treason

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Sergei Mikhailov was detained in connection with a probe into allegations that officers at the agency had received money from an unnamed foreign company via an intermediary who worked at a Russian information security firm, the paper reported citing sources close to the FSB.

SAN FRANCISCO -A series of surprising arrests of some of Russia's top cybersecurity figures has left the worldwide cybersecurity officials and analysts wondering whether Russia is cleaning house of suspected spies, or going through an internal shakeup of the FSB, Russia's national security service.

Ruslan Stoyanov, a member of Kasperksy's investigations team, was arrested in December but news of his apprehension has only just surfaced. Stoyanov joined the Moscow-based AV company in 2012 and was chiefly involved in investigating and responding to hacking-related crimes carried out in Russian Federation.

Stoyanov lists a previous job of "Major" in the "Ministry of Interior/Moscow Cyber Crime Unit" from 2000-2006 in his LinkedIn profile.

Kaspersky told the media yesterday that the company has no details of the charges that Stoyanov faces and that the investigation predates Stoyanov's time with the popular antivirus company. "The work of Kaspersky Lab's Computer Incidents Investigation Team is unaffected by these developments". Jake Williams, founder of security firm Rendition Software (formerly with the Department of Defense), wrote in a blog post, "For those living and working under oppressive regimes, keep up the good fight". It's not clear what the maximum penalty is for treason in Russian Federation.

Word of the arrest nearly immediately ignited a flurry of speculation and concerns of a possibly chilling effect the action might have among security researchers. As coverage from Forbes reported, such assistance could potentially be as simple as furnishing the Federal Bureau of Investigation with information on a botnet.

Russian Federation has reportedly arrested a senior intelligence officer over leaks to the U.S. Above, the Lubyanka that houses the FSB intelligence agency.

Though Kaspersky has published research damaging to Russian hacking operations, Kaspersky CEO Eugene Kaspersky is known to have held a friendly relationship with the Russian government. People advancing the theory seem to be basing it on the timing of the arrest, which roughly coincided with the classified release of specific details said to support the USA intelligence community's claims the hacking was ordered by President Vladimir Putin. Anonymous International has on various occasions leaked private emails and other data to embarrass public Russian figures, but none of these leaks have ever resulted in any arrests since the content of these revelations is more "embarrassing than criminal", Moscow Times added. It may not even be what the state and prosecutors think is true.