Russia detains head of cybercrime group on treason charges

A Moscow court on Wednesday (29/9) ordered the detention of a founder of one of Russia’s leading cybersecurity companies, Group-IB, on charges of treason.

Founded in 2003, Group-IB specializes in the detection and prevention of cyberattacks and works closely with Interpol and other global agencies.

The Lefortovsky district court in Moscow ordered the group’s 35-year-old founder and director, Ilya Sachkov, to be held in pretrial detention for two months on charges of treason, the court’s press section said. The court did not provide further details on the charges against Sachkov. Cases of treason in Russia, which carry a sentence of 12 to 20 years, are usually kept secret.

Moscow IB-Group employees, who are in charge of one of Russia's two official Internet watchdogs, work in their laboratory in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, May 30, 2013. (AP)

Moscow Group-IB employees, who are in charge of one of Russia’s two official Internet watchdogs, work in their laboratory in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, May 30, 2013. (AP)

Also on Wednesday (29/9), Group-IB said that its Moscow headquarters had been searched in the morning. “Top management and the legal department are working to clarify the situation,” the group said in a statement.

In addition to Moscow, Group-IB has offices in Amsterdam, Dubai, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Hanoi, according to its website.

Sachkov co-founded Group-IB when he was just 17 years old. He was included in Forbes magazine’s list of 30 influential tech entrepreneurs for the age category under 30 or “30 under 30” in 2016.

Three years later he received an award for “innovative breakthroughs” from President Vladimir Putin “for progress in identifying and preventing cyberthreats,” according to the Kremlin’s website. [lt/uh]

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