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Arrested Kaspersky Labs Cybercrimes Chief Says Russia Trades Hackers Immunity for Stolen Info

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Ruslan Stoyanov, the former head of cyber-crime investigations at Kaspersky Labs, has been locked up in pretrial detention since last December on treason charges. According to prosecutors, Stoyanov — who worked for the Moscow police force until 2006 — allegedly acted as a go-between for Sergei Mikhailov, a deputy chief at Russia’s Federal Security Service, and other groups.

This Wednesday, the independent television station Dozhd published a letter Stoyanov dictated to his lawyers, where he strongly criticized the Russian government for recruiting hackers and granting them criminal immunity.

“The essence of the deal is that the state gets access to the technologies and information of ‘cyberthieves,’ in exchange for allowing them to steal abroad with impunity,” Stoyanov said, claiming that this agreement has lead to “a new crime wave” perpetuated by “patriotic thieves.”

Stoyanov also warned that hackers are liable to turn their attention back to Russia, once their “patriotic fervor” wears off.

The former Kaspersky Labs figure says he was arrested and thrown in jail because he threatened the business interests of Russian security generals and cyberthieves.

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