Major Dmitry Dokuchaev, one of four cyber-security experts arrested by the Kremlin on charges of treason, has allegedly been revealed as an infamous Russian hacker.
Dokuchaev worked as a hacker under the alias “Forb” until Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) threatened to jail him, an unverified source told the RBC newspaper.
“Forb” gave a interview to Russian newspaper Vedomosti in 2004, revealing that he specialized in “hacking on request” and stealing money from bank cards – an occupation which he said could earn him anywhere between $5,000 and $30,000 a month.
He also claimed that he had carried out a successful attack on U.S. government infrastructure.
The FSB ultimately traced Dokuchaev to the card thefts, and threatened to prosecute the hacker unless he agreed to work for the agency, the source alleged.
The former hacker was jailed alongside the deputy head of the FSB's security information center, Sergei Mikhailov, and the head of the cyber-investigation division at private Russian technology firm Kaspersky Labs, Ruslan Stoyanov.
Mikhailov, who was allegedly detained at a board meeting in December 2016, is reportedly accused of leaking information to the U.S. intelligence community.
Independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta reported on Thursday that Mikhailov gave U.S. officials vital information on Vladimir Fomenko and his server rental company “King Servers.” The firm was branded by U.S. cybersecurity company ThreatConnect as “an information nexus” used by Russian hackers to attack the United States' information infrastructure.
Pro-Kremlin television network Tsargrad TV also named Mikhailov as a member of hacker collective Anonymous, known in Russia as “Shaltai Boltai.”
The fourth defendant in the case has not yet been named.