Ruslan Stoyanov, a top investigator at Russian cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab who was detained and accused of treason by the country’s security services last December, has slammed the Kremlin’s policy of working closely with cybercriminals to further national interests.
This week (12 April) an independent television station called “Dozhd” published a letter formally dictated by Stoyanov to his legal team. In it, he criticised how the state offers criminals “impunity” to hack abroad in exchange for protection and stolen data.
“The worst scenario is to give cybercriminals immunity from retaliation for stealing money in other countries in exchange for intelligence. If this happens, a whole layer of ‘patriotic thieves’ will appear, violating the principles of the rule of law and [avoiding] punishment,” he wrote.
According to Stoyanov, the partnership is not built to last – especially when it comes to those capable of hacking into corporations and banks. The Kaspersky Lab expert said the inevitable breakdown in relationships will lead to a “wave of crimes” inside Russia.
“I was thrown into the most severe prison on charges of treason. Everything was kept secret,” he said. “If only my affairs did not undermine the stability of the posts and merits of the generals, and also did not harm the business of ‘patriot-thieves’,” he complained.
While working at Kaspersky, a global anti-virus and computer security organisation, Stoyanov was an incident response manager specialising in distributed denial of service (DDoS) cases.