A member of Russian hacker group Shaltai Boltai gave an interview to the Financial Times in Tallinn and told the paper that he was planning to apply for asylum in Estonia. The man, who only identified himself as Aleksander, is presumed to be the group’s last member Russian counterintelligence has not yet managed to catch.
Aleksander told the Financial Times that he had worked with the arrested leader of Shaltai Boltai, Vladimir Anikeev, since 2003. According to the paper, he produced correspondence with Anikeev as proof, run through an anonymous account of Shaltai Boltai.
Anikeev together with two former FSB cyber intelligence officers is facing charges of treason in Russia. He has been imprisoned for three months. According to the Russian press, the two officers were Anikeev’s handlers.
Number of Russian leaks recently on the increase
According to the New York Times, Russian sources helped American intelligence agencies confirm Russia’s involvement in the cyber attacks on the Democratic Party during last year’s presidential election. The same operation allegedly was the reason why Putin had long-time Kremlin official Sergei Ivanov removed from his position as director of the presidential administration.
Leaks in the FSB as well as other Russian security authorities have recently increased, which could be interpreted as a deliberate campaign, but also hint at conflicting interest groups in the Russian intelligence services. A large part of the leaked information was publicized by hacker group Shaltai Boltai.
Journalists of British daily The Guardian met with a representative of the group in 2014 who told them that he could forward information by disgruntled intelligence officials, and that they had access to thousands of emails of the Kremlin’s inner circle.
Russian authorities arrested high-ranking FSB officer Sergei Mikhailov as well as a manager of cyber security firm Kaspersky Lab, Ruslan Stoyanov, who is himself a former cyber security official. Mikhailov as well as his deputy, Dmitri Dokuchayev, are accused of having cooperated with U.S. intelligence agency CIA.
According to Russian media, Mikhailov was arrested already in December last year. The way the arrest was carried out apparently was of a decidedly demonstrative nature: Mikhailov was arrested in a meeting of high-ranking intelligence officials, a bag was pulled over his head, and he was led out of the conference room.
According to Russian news agency Interfax, four people have been arrested so far in connection with the case.
Editor: Editor: Dario Cavegn