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Group-IB CEO Ilya Sachkov charged with treason in Russia

Group-IB maintains the innocence of CEO and founder Ilya Sachkov and said that co-founder and CTO Dmitry Volkov will assume leadership of the company.

The founder and CEO of Group-IB, a Russian cybersecurity company known for its threat hunting and cybercrime research, was arrested Tuesday under treason charges.

Ilya Sachkov, 35, was arrested in Moscow, according to several Russian news outlets. In a statement released Wednesday, Group-IB said that its Moscow offices had been searched by law enforcement on the same day as the arrest and that it was "assessing the situation" with its lawyers.

The company had previously relocated its headquarters to Singapore in 2018.

According to an unnamed government source cited by the state-owned Russian news agency TASS, Sachkov is accused of "transferring intelligence data to foreign special services." TASS said that he will be held for two months, and that Sachkov did not admit guilt.

Sachkov founded Group-IB in 2003. The company, considered a major cybersecurity firm in Russia, has assisted international law enforcement in a number of cybercrime investigations. For example, Group-IB helped lead to the arrest of three Magecart suspects last year. In 2017, the company published the tools, techniques and indicators of compromise of Russian cybercrime operation MoneyTaker.

According to Article 275 of The Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, a high treason charge carries a potential sentence of 12 to 20 years in prison if Sachkov were to be convicted.

Group-IB confirmed Sachkov's arrest in a separate statement Wednesday. The cybersecurity vendor said that it was "confident in the innocence of the company's CEO and his business integrity" and that co-founder and CTO Dmitry Volkov will assume leadership of the company.

In addition, the company said that the "communications team refrains from commenting on the charges brought and the circumstances of the criminal case due to the ongoing procedural activities."

Group-IB declined to provide additional commentary to SearchSecurity regarding the arrest beyond linking to Wednesday's statement.

Sachkov, in addition to his executive role at Group-IB, is a commissioner on The Global Commission on the Stability of Cyberspace.

TASS quotes translated via Google.

Alexander Culafi is a writer, journalist and podcaster based in Boston.

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