“Sergei Mikhailov, a top cybersecurity specialist in the FSB, and his deputy Dmitry Dokuchaev are being accused of breaking their oath and working with the CIA.”
Interfax News Agency
Former FSB Colonel Sergei Mikhailov is facing treason changes in Moscow. But the investigation has revealed something truly unusual: Mikhailov’s past seems to be a legend. Follow us on Twitter: @INTEL_TODAY
On December 4 2016, the Federal Security Service (FSB) arrested Ruslan Stoyanov, the former head of Kaspersky Lab’s Computer Incident Investigation Department. On the same day, they also arrested three FSB officers: Colonel Sergey Mikhailov, his colleague Major Dmitry Dokuchaev, both senior officers of the 2nd Operational Management of FSB Information Security Center, as well as Georgy Fomchenkov. The four men are detained on charges of high treason (Art. 275 of the Russian Criminal Code).
Russian businessman Pavel Vrublevsky told Reuters that the arrests were a response to his old allegations (2010) that Stoyanov and Mikhailov had passed secrets on to an American firm: iDefense (now Verisign).
“Looks like Sergey [Mikhailov] and Ruslan [Ruslan Stoyanov] were looking for various “scapegoats” who were easy to track down and who had a lot of criminal evidence collected against them, and then reported them to iDefence through Kimberly [Zenz].
This was done so that iDefence could get some publicity for themselves by turning this into a global news story. Then the matter was reported by US intelligence to Russia, and then got on Sergey’s desk who made a big deal out of it and then solved the case brilliantly gaining favors with his bosses. iDefence at the same time was getting huge grants to fight russian cyberthreats.”
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The Spy without a Past
According to TV channel REN, citing security service sources, Mikhailov was originally recruited by the Americans during a vacation in a Mediterranean country.
But Investigative newspaper Novaya Gazeta now suggests that Colonel Sergey Mikhailov was not born ‘Mikhailov’.
“Two sources pointed to him being ‘a foreign intelligence mole inside the FSB’, it was reported.”
His resume showed that was born in ex-Soviet republic Belarus, and came to Russia in the mid-1990s, taking citizenship before rising through the ranks of the FSB.
But an investigation carried out by respected veterans of the SVR foreign intelligence service, the FSB, and the Interior Ministry ‘failed to find any evidence that Mikhailov was born and raised in Belarus’.
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About FSB Colonel Sergey Mikhailov
Sergey Mikhailov is a former FSB Colonel. Mikhailov was Chief of the 2nd Operational Management of FSB Information Security Center (ISC).
ARREST — On December 4 2016, Mikhailov was detained at a board meeting — escorted out of the room with a bag thrown over his head.
LEGAL CHARGE — Sergey Mikhailov has been charged under Art. 275 of the Criminal Code (High treason). Mikhailov has always denied the charge of treason. He allegedly admitted passing information to a third-party but now deny this accusation as well.
CRIMES — Being accused of treason, the case is classified. It is not known exactly what crimes he is suspected of having committed. Here are some of the allegations that were reported in the Russian media.
CRIME A — Investigators believe that he was involved in a document theft from the Ministry of Defense. Defense Minister Sergei Shoygu personally initiated the investigation of the hackers.
CRIME B — According to Anikeev’s testimony, Mikhailov oversaw Shaltay-Boltay. The FSB senior officer supplied hackers with information regarding government dignitaries or officials. The hackers would then demand a ransom from these individual. In case of refusal, they would sell this information for bitcoins through Ukraine and published it on the web.
CRIME C — He is accused of leaking information to the U.S. intelligence community.
At this point, it seems likely that Mikhailov was passing information to Kaspersky Lab employee Ruslan Stoyanov and probably one more not yet named expert on computer security in exchange for money. Then, the information would be sold to intermediaries abroad, and eventually passed on to foreign intelligence services (probably but not necessarily the CIA). Russian media suggests that Colonel Mikhailov may have been selling information for at least seven years.
MONEY — Security forces raided a country house and Moscow apartments belonging to Mikhailov. They found about 12 million dollars in cash.
Sergey Mikhailov — Crime RUSSIA
RUSSIA — FSB Colonel Sergey Mikhailov: ” The spy without a past”