FSB officers charged with treason, media claim CIA ties

Mikhailov, an FSB officer in charge of Internet security, allegedly took the hacker group under his control and received kickbacks from its founder, Vladimir Anikeyev, who was detained in November.

Mikhailov, an FSB officer in charge of Internet security, allegedly took the hacker group under his control and received kickbacks from its founder, Vladimir Anikeyev, who was detained in November.

Vladimir Astapkovich/RIA Novosti
Russian media report that a senior officer at the Federal Security Service (FSB), who was detained on charges of treason, collaborated not just with a well-known hacker group but also with U.S. secret services.

Citing sources "familiar with the situation," Interfax reported that Sergei Mikhailov, the head of a department at the FSB's Information Security Center, and his deputy, Dmitry Dokuchayev, face charges of working for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Both men were detained in December, but news of their arrest only emerged at the end of January.

More than Anonymous?

Sources told Rosbalt news agency and Life News that Mikhailov and Dokuchayev were arrested for ties to the Anonymous hackers. This group allegedly broke into accounts of state officials and businessmen, and sold the information on the Internet.

Mikhailov, an FSB officer in charge of Internet security, allegedly took the hacker group under his control and received kickbacks from its founder, Vladimir Anikeyev, who was detained in November. 

Rosbalt reported that Anikeyev told law-enforcement authorities about Mikhailov. Ivan Pavlov, the lawyer for the detained security officers, however, said the treason case is not connected with Anonymous. Mikhailov may have had ties to other groups.

Separate cases

Interfax reported that Mikhailov and Dokuchayev are accused of violating their oath and working for the CIA. It's not clear whether they acted directly or through an intermediary. Another eight people have been arrested as accomplices, including Ruslan Stoyanov, an employee at Kaspersky Lab and a specialist in cyber security.

Experts point out that these alleged cases of collaboration with hackers and the CIA "overlap but might not be related." It's possible that some of those arrested worked with the hacker groups, while others cooperated with foreign secret services. What unites these cases is the fact that the men knew each other and IT is their specialty.

Read more: Arrests send shock waves through Russia’s cyber community>>>

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