One of the two Russian FSB agents recently indicted by US officials worked as an undercover officer at Renaissance Capital, a Moscow investment bank owned by billionaire ikhail Prokhorov. The officer, identified in the indictment as Igor Sushchin, was fired from the bank on March 16, the day after US officials announced the charges related to the massive 2014 Yahoo Yahoo.
According to a recent report from RadioFreeEurope, Sushchin’s firing, first reported by the Russian newspaper Kommersant, was confirmed to RFE/RL by an executive.
Igor Sushchin, who worked for a division of the bank called Renaissance Broker was believed to still be living in Moscow, though his whereabouts were not clear at the time of publishing this article, and there has been no public comments.
US officials have formally requested his extradition from Russia and that of two other Russians named in the indictment: Aleksei Belan, who was indicted in the US four years ago on hacking charges, and Dmitry Dokuchayev, another officer Federal Security Service (FSB), Russia’s lead security and intelligence agency.
Another individual, Karim Baratov, was arrested in Canada in March and has been held waiting for a US extradition request.
Responding to the US announcement, a Kremlin spokesman denied that the government had ever been involved in any cyberattacks and referred further questions to the FSB.
The US indictment gives an idea on how the FSB officers overseeing or being directly involved in computer hacking, including stolen e-mail accounts, and other secret programs designed to manipulate a user’s account.
The US indictment identified Igor Sushchin as the “head of information security at the Russian financial firm, where he monitored the communications of Russian financial firm employees.”
Renaissance Capital is a major Moscow investment bank owned by Onexim group, a holding company that manages the assets of Prokhorov, billionaire who made his wealth investing in Russia’s nickel and metal industry, Prokhorov challenged Vladimir Putin for the presidency in 2011 running as a liberal, pro-business opposition candidate.
Prokhorov has also drawn official scrutiny for his ownership of his media group RBK, which published articles investigating the assets of Putin’s son-in-law. Onexim’s offices were raided by FSB officials in April 2016. Later, a number of journalists either resigned or were fired, including the media group’s editor in chief.
The US charges appear to be unconnected to alleged Russian hacking of the Democratic National Committee and the FBI’s ongoing investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential elections.
Yahoo said the 2014 breach affected 500 million user accounts.
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