Russian law enforcement agencies have raided the office of cybersecurity company Group-IB and detained its founder and chief executive officer, Ilya Sachkov, for two months, on state treason charges.
The raids, first reported by Russian news outlet RTVI, took place on Tuesday, September 28.
RTVI reporters who approached armed officers in front of Group-IB’s Moscow building were told to come back the next day.
Group-IB confirmed the raids in a statement to The Record but did not comment on its CEO’s arrest.
“Law enforcement officers left Group-IB’s office at night the same day,” the company said.
Group-IB’s communications team said the reason for the search was not yet clear but wanted to reassure customers in other countries that their data was safe.
The decentralized infrastructure of Group-IB allows us to keep our customer’s data safe, maintain business operations and work without interruption across our offices in Russia and around the world.
Group-IB communications team
Group-IB CEO detained for two months
Earlier today on Wednesday, fellow Russian news outlet BFM confirmed Sachov’s arrest, citing a spokesperson for the Lefortovo Court in Moscow.
According to Moscow court officials, the Group-IB CEO was charged under Article 275 of the Russian Criminal Code on state treason charges and detained for two months until November 27, 2021.
Group-IB is one of Russia’s largest cyber-security firms. Founded in Russia but now officially headquartered in Singapore, the company has often collaborated with Europol and Interpol on investigations that led to the arrest of multiple cybercrime groups, such as malware gangs and email scammers.
In a 2020 Bloomberg feature, Sachkov infamously said that Russia wasn’t serious about catching hackers and that he moved the company to Singapore to preserve its independence.
In 2019, a US court charged Nikita Kislitsin, a Group-IB analyst, for receiving data stolen from US company Formspring. At the time, Group-IB said that Kislitsin was just doing his job as a threat intelligence analyst, which involved contacting known hackers in order to learn their latest endeavors and obtain copies of stolen data.
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