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Top Researcher At Kaspersky Lab Arrested By Russian Cops

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelance and long standing contributor to TechWeek Europe

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A top security expert with Kaspersky Lab arrested in connection with treason investigation

Ruslan Stoyanov, the head of the Computer Incidents Investigation Team over at security specialists Kaspersky Lab has been arrested as part of a treason investigation.

According to the Russian newspaper Kommersant, Stoyanov was arrested alongside Sergei Mikhailov, a employee at the Federal Security Service (FSB), which of course was more commonly known as the KGB during the Soviet era.

But Kaspersky Lab has revealed that the charges levelled at Stoyanov are related to his activities before he joined the security firm.

Russian special forces © Darren Baker, Shutterstock 2012Treason Probe

Kaspersky Lab confirmed that its top security man had been arrested in a brief statement.

“The case against this employee does not involve Kaspersky Lab,” said the firm. “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,” it added. “The work of Kaspersky Lab’s Computer Incidents Investigation Team is unaffected by these developments.”

According to bleepingcomputer.com, Stoyanov was arrested in December under charges with article 275 of the Russian criminal code, which refers to treason.

It is alleged by anonymous sources that prior to joining Kaspersky Lab, Stoyanov was involved in facilitating the transfer of funds from foreign companies to the banks accounts of the FSB’s Sergei Mikhailov.

According to Stoyanov’s LinkedIn profile, prior to his joining Kaspersky Lab, he worked as a Deputy Director for a company called Indrik, but Stoyanov was also as a Major in the Ministry of Interior’s Cyber Crime Unit.

Uncomfortable Time

Russia is currently in the spotlight after the United States accused it of interfering with the US election with hacking attacks, including the release of emails stolen from the Democratic National Committee (DNC).

Yet despite being based in the country, Kaspersky Lab has earned itself a solid security reputation in recent times among security professionals.

Last August  for example it created a Bug Bounty Program with HackerOne, a bug bounty platform provider, at the Black Hat USA Conference in Las Vegas.

That development came after the discovery of vulnerabilities with products from rival security vendors.

The vendor said at the time the move would “not only further bolster its mitigation strategy for addressing inherent software vulnerabilities, but also continue enhancing its relationship with external security researchers.”

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