State prosecutors in Moscow have ordered Russia’s Investigative Committee to find out how hackers gained access to an opposition activist’s Telegram account last year, according to the news agency RBC. Investigators initially declined to open a case into complaints by Oleg Kozlovsky, who says his Telegram account was accessed illegally in April 2016.
According to Kozlovsky, the hackers cracked his two-step verification by intercepting his text messages, raising concerns that his phone company, MTS, possibly yielded to pressure from Russian intelligence services spying on Russian citizens.
The same night Kozlovsky was hacked, Georgy Alburov, who works with Alexei Navalny at the Anti-Corruption Foundation, says his text messages were also intercepted to gain access to his Telegram account.
Following the security breach, Telegram founder Pavel Durov accused the Russian government of behaving like a “cannibalistic Central Asian or Middle Eastern regime.”