In a shocking verdict, the co-founder and CEO of Group-IB, Ilya Sachkov, has been sentenced to 14 years in a “strict regime colony” by a Moscow city court. The charges against him revolve around alleged high treason, specifically passing information to foreign spies, which the court found him guilty of. This incident has garnered significant attention, with Sachkov denying any wrongdoing and expressing plans to appeal the decision. Let’s delve into the details of the case and its implications.
The Verdict and Charges:
The court found Ilya Sachkov guilty under Article 275 of the Russian Criminal Code (high treason) and sentenced him to 14 years in a maximum-security jail, with a fine of 500,000 rubles (about $5,550). The accusations date back to 2011 when Sachkov allegedly shared classified information with foreign intelligence, consequently leading to reputational damage to Russia’s national interests. The specifics of the charges remain unclear.
Appeal and Allegations:
Sachkov, aged 37, plans to appeal. Reports suggest he shared information with the U.S. government about a hacking team in Moscow’s GRU military intelligence service, known as “Fancy Bear,” and its alleged involvement in influencing the 2016 US presidential election.
Group-IB, originally founded in Russia in 2003 and now headquartered in Singapore, has expressed full confidence in Ilya Sachkov’s innocence. The cybersecurity company emphasizes that they classified the case materials and held all hearings in secrecy, resulting in limited transparency and understanding of the basis for the conviction.
Company’s Exit from Russia:
In April, Group-IB fully exited Russia, operating its local business under the new brand F.A.C.C.T. (Fight Against Cybercrime Technologies). Valery Baulin, F.A.C.C.T.’s director, called it a “tough moment” for cybersecurity, emphasizing Sachkov’s role as the successful company’s creator.
The sentencing of Ilya Sachkov has sent shockwaves through the cybersecurity industry. The lack of transparency and public scrutiny surrounding the case raises concerns about fairness and impartiality.
As the appeal unfolds, the cybersecurity community watches closely, seeking clarity on the events that led to this significant verdict.