Russia Arrests Hackers Who Allegedly Worked for Ukraine
Arrests Made Around Siberia;Suspects Face 20 Years in Prison
Russia's security service arrested two hackers suspected of carrying out cyberattacks on Russian networks on behalf of Ukraine.
The suspects, who were detained on the same day in different cities in Siberia, could potentially face up to 20 years in prison if found guilty of treason, Russian media reported.
The Federal Security Service (FSB) released a video on Tuesday showing officers forcibly apprehending one of the suspects, a 36-year-old man, on the street. They handcuffed him and placed him in a car before conducting a search of his home and inspecting his computer equipment.
According to the FSB, the suspect used an online messenger to join Ukrainian cyber forces that are allegedly overseen by Ukrainian intelligence. They accused him of carrying out cyberattacks on Russian critical infrastructure and infecting its systems with malware.
The second suspect, a Russian tech student with pro-Ukrainian views, allegedly assisted Ukrainian hacker groups supported by the country's law enforcement in carrying out cyberattacks on Russian information infrastructure, the FSB said. Video footage shared with Russian media showed the second suspect being accompanied by FSB officers onto a plane bound for a detention center in Moscow. His apartment was also searched, and all his devices were inspected.
The arrests of individuals accused of treason are not uncommon in both Ukraine and Russia. Last week, a 23-year-old citizen was detained by the FSB for allegedly working for Ukrainian security services and filming critical infrastructure facilities inside Russia. Such footage can aid soldiers in guiding missile strikes.
Relations between Russia and Ukraine have been tense since Russia annexed Crimea in 2014 and the ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine between Ukrainian forces and Russia-backed separatists. Cyber warfare has become an increasingly common battleground, with both countries accusing each other of hacking and carrying out cyberattacks.
The arrests of these two hackers highlight the ongoing struggle between the two nations in the realm of cybersecurity. The FSB's actions send a strong message that Russia will not tolerate cyberattacks on its critical infrastructure and will actively pursue those responsible.
As the investigation unfolds, it remains to be seen how the arrests will impact the already strained relations between Russia and Ukraine. Both countries will likely continue to bolster their cybersecurity efforts to protect their networks from future attacks.