In Russia, put on the wanted list the head of the department of the company – the developer of software against cybercrime FACCT (former Group-IB) Nikita Kislitsina, follows from the database of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. In the Tverskoy District Court of Moscow, RBC was informed that he had been arrested in absentia.
From file cabinets of the Moscow City Court it follows that he is suspected of illegal access to computer information protected by law (part 3 of article 272 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation). FACCT told RBC that Kislitsin was detained on June 22 in Kazakhstan.
“Kommersant”, 06/28/2023, “The FBI and the Ministry of Internal Affairs needed a fighter against hackers”: According to the court, on June 27, Mr. Kislitsin was put on the federal wanted list, and shortly after that, on the international wanted list. Now the Ministry of Internal Affairs will send the relevant documents to the Prosecutor General’s Office, and it will turn to the authorities of Kazakhstan with a request to extradite Mr. Kislitsin. The charges are not being disclosed by the ministry. According to court practice, the Russian request can be considered and granted as a matter of priority if the accused agrees to be sent home. […]
FACCT told Kommersant that Nikita Kislitsin regularly traveled outside the country, both on business trips and privately. The last time he visited Kazakhstan was in November 2022. At the same time, he did not have any questions when crossing the border. […]
Interestingly, earlier in the media it was reported that the FBI could have learned about the hacker Nikulin from Nikita Kislitsin, who allegedly testified at the US Embassy. However, representatives of the businessman himself told Kommersant that, on the contrary, he refused to cooperate with the US authorities and that the businessman’s lawyers also informed the American justice system about this. A Kommersant source close to the investigation added that after the original Art. 272 of the Criminal Code, extortion was added (allegedly the businessman stole some data, and then blackmailed the victim with it), the Russian accusation became no less serious than the American one. — Inset K.ru
“At the moment, Nikita Kislitsin is in Kazakhstan under temporary detention to study the grounds for extradition arrest at the request of the United States,” the FACCT press service said.
Russia will seek his extradition, writes TASS with reference to sources in power structures.
FACCT is the successor to Group-IB, which sold its Russian business to local management in the spring of 2023. Company Founder – Ilya Sachkov. After the deal he remained the main shareholder of FACCT In September 2021, Sachkov was arrested. He is accused of treason. Instead of Sachkov, Group-IB was headed by co-founder Dmitry Volkov. The materials of the Sachkov case are classified. Volkov told RBCthat the accusation does not concern the company, it was brought only to Sachkov as an individual, and not to the general director.
What is presented to Kislitsin in Russia and the USA
Kislitsin leads the FACCT department for the development of solutions for complex counteraction to complex cyber attacks. The company, citing available information, claims that the claims against him do not relate to work at FACCT, but are related to the events of a decade ago, when he worked as a journalist and independent researcher. Kislitsin in 2006-2012 was the editor-in-chief of the Hacker magazine.
“We are convinced that there are no legal grounds for detention on the territory of Kazakhstan. The company has hired lawyers who have been providing Nikita with all the necessary assistance since last week, and we have also sent an appeal to the Russian Consulate General in Kazakhstan to assist in protecting our employee, ”the statement says. company message.
In 2020, the US Department of Justice reported that Kislitsin was one of the suspects in the Russian hacker case. Evgenia Nikulina (he was accused of hacking LinkedIn, Dropbox and Formspring). According to the agency, in 2012 Kislitsin was involved in hacking the Formspring social network, stealing user data and trying to sell it. Group-IB called the accusations against Kislitsin unsubstantiated. At the same time, the company noted that the claims of the American authorities relate to the period when Kislitsin did not work at Group-IB.
Nikulin said that in 2013 Kislitsin met with representatives of the US Department of Justice and shared with them his research work, which he carried out in 2012. Then, in 2014, Kislitsin was invited to a conversation with government officials at the US Embassy in Moscow, follows from document, published in the database of decisions of American courts in mid-2020. At the meeting, he talked about the work of Russian hackers, as well as the Group-IB investigation into the FETEAM carding forum (a platform where you can sell and buy stolen bank card data). Kislitsin described exactly how Group-IB tracked the traffic of this forum, and also offered to transfer the collected data to the FBI. Sachkov supported Kislitsin in the transfer of data, the latter said.
According to one of RBC’s sources in the information security market, the arrest in absentia of Nikita Kislitsin by a Moscow court may be an attempt to protect him from extradition at the request of the United States.
At the same time, several interlocutors of RBC noted at once that the situation with Kislitsin should not affect FACCT, since the company “cannot get out of the pit” after the arrest of Ilya Sachkov.
A FAC.CT representative said that the company does not see any connection between the detention of Nikita Kislitsin and the Sachkov case. “Such assumptions are nothing more than speculation. The case of Ilya Sachkov remains classified, we do not have detailed information about what he is specifically accused of,” he said. He also emphasized that the company had not received any requests or appeals related to Kislitsin. FACCT insists that they are working “as usual, ensuring the protection of their customers.” RBC’s interlocutor also emphasizes that over the past financial year, the number of FACCT clients has grown by a third.
RIA Novosti, 06/28/2023, “A court in Moscow arrested FACCT employee Kislitsin in absentia”: According to RIA Novosti, Consul General Yevgeny Bobrov, the law enforcement agencies of Kazakhstan and Russia are in contact regarding the detention of Kislitsin. In addition, the Russian Consulate General in Alma-Ata asked the Kazakh authorities to refrain from expedited extradition of a FACCT employee to the United States. In addition, Astana was urged to clarify the situation with his detention and provide access to the Russian. A corresponding note was sent to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan. — Inset K.ru
Which country is more likely to be extradited?
The head of the law firm AVG Legal, Alexey Gavrishev, said that according to the CIS Convention on Legal Assistance and Legal Relations in Civil, Family and Criminal Matters, extradition between countries is mandatory if it is carried out for such acts that are punishable under the laws of Russia and Kazakhstan and for which punishment in the form of imprisonment for a term of at least one year or more severe. “At the same time, there is an agreement between Kazakhstan and the United States on mutual legal assistance in criminal matters, which states that Kazakhstan can refuse extradition if the execution of the request poses a threat to its sovereignty, security, public order, or other significant interests,” noted lawyer. He added that the latter reason has a broad interpretation, depending on the political bias. The lawyer drew attention to the fact that the CIS Convention states that a country that has received requests for extradition from several states has the right to decide for itself which request to fulfill.
At the same time, a specialist in criminal law, lawyer Vadim Bagaturia noted that no one has canceled the historical relationship between Russian and Kazakh law enforcement agencies. “The question of who will be ahead of whom in extradition is absolutely unpredictable. However, it should be remembered that before that, no matter how Russia fought for “its” hackers, for some reason they were extradited to the United States,” the expert said. But according to Dmitry Gorbunov, a partner at the law firm Rustam Kurmaev & Partners, the issue lies in the political plane: “Each of the requesting parties has equal legal positions and prerequisites for an extradition request. The current geopolitical games will determine the actions of the side considering the requests.”
Kirill Yashenkov, lawyer, managing partner of the Moscow law firm RusYurConsult, noted that when considering the requests of the two states, Kazakhstan will have to check the correctness of these documents, whether they fully meet the requirements of international law in terms of content and in terms of the documents attached to them. “In terms of decision-making, Kazakhstan will proceed from the relationship between states,” the lawyer said.
This is not the first time Russia has put on the wanted list the citizens whose extradition is sought by the United States, after which, on this basis, it seeks their extradition to their homeland. So, in October 2022, at the request of the United States, a businessman, the son of the former governor of the Krasnoyarsk Territory, was detained in Milan and then placed under house arrest. Alexandra Ussa — Artem. In the same month, the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs put Uss Jr. on the wanted list, a Moscow court arrested him in absentia in a money laundering case. Based on the court decision to arrest Uss, Moscow sought his extradition not to the United States, but to Russia.
In March 2023 Artem Uss escaped from house arrest in Italy, and in April announced return to Russia. He came to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and, after interrogation, the measure of restraint was changed from arrest to a written undertaking not to leave. His card has disappeared from the database of wanted persons.