Kaspersky Lab’s head of cybercrime arrested in Russia for treason

Russia's biggest cybersecurity company saw a top employee arrested last month for treason. A top federal law enforcement officer is behind bars on the same charges.

Ruslan Stoyanov, the man in charge of investigating hacking incidents at Kaspersky Lab, was arrested in December on treason charges, Russian media reported early Wednesday. Kaspersky confirmed the arrest to Russian state media but emphasized that the investigation was against Stoyanov as an individual and not Kaspersky as a company.

News of the arrest first hit when Kommersant, a daily newspaper, cited a source in Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB). FSB’s Sergey Mikhailov, the cybersecurity deputy chief at the agency, was also arrested after being bribed by an unspecified foreign organization to share data on Russian hacking.

Russian law enforcement has not yet commented on the case. Both have remained in pre-trial detention for the last month.

Despite the arrests having taken place in December, the full details of the case remain mostly unavailable. It’s not clear who else might have been arrested, what data was shared and which “foreign organization” is in question.


The company said in a statement that Stoyanow is “under investigation for a period predating his employment at Kaspersky Lab.”

Earlier this month, Kommersant wrote about the possible resignation of FSB’s top cyber cop over the relationship to one of his deputies. Mikhailov might fit the bill.

Stoyanov spent six years (2000 to 2006) doing forensics at the Moscow Cyber Crime Unit at Russia’s Ministry of Interior. He worked at Kaspersky for four and a half years.

Just last year, Stoyanov worked with Russian law enforcement on “Russia’s largest cybercriminal arrest.” The operation resulted in the arrest of 50 people who allegedly stole $50 million.

Kaspersky, a Russian firm founded in 1997, is one of Europe’s largest cybersecurity firms with over $600 million in annual revenue.

Patrick Howell O'Neill

Written by Patrick Howell O'Neill

Patrick Howell O’Neill is a cybersecurity reporter for CyberScoop based in San Francisco.

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