Last night, Rachel Maddow reported on MSNBC that a new Russian media report from a news outlet called The Bell, sheds light on why Russian intelligence cyber experts were arrested a year ago–and confirms the cyberattack on the US election.
According to the report, four men were arrested for treason a year ago for acting as sources that helped the US figure out who was responsible for the DNC hack. In true tale-of-espionage style, the story unfolds with layers of mystery.
From the report: “Sergei Mikhailov was arrested one year ago, on Dec. 5, 2016. Officers of the agency’s internal security division seized him at his office and led him away with a sack over his head. Mikhailov is a black belt in karate and the officers feared that he might resist, explained one of the colonel’s acquaintances.
Prior to his arrest, Mikhailov was head of the 2nd Directorate of the FSB’s Information Security Center (TsIB) and within Russian intelligence circles he was considered the main authority on cybercrime.
Now he and three other men — Dmitry Dokuchayev, an FSB major and former criminal hacker, accused in the U.S. of hacking 500 million Yahoo! accounts in 2014; Ruslan Stoyanov, a former Kaspersky Lab employee; and Georgy Fomchenkov, a little-known internet entrepreneur — are suspected of state treason. The four are being held in Moscow’s high-security Lefortovo Prison, in cells measuring nine square meters and without hot water, sources close to them say.”
Maddow concludes that the report, if true, confirms that the Russian government was complicit in the election hack, especially given the arrest of an FSB colonel. Ending her segment, she asks the question, “Why are they letting us know this, now?”
Watch the segment on MSNBC.