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Russian cybercriminal arrested in Kazakhstan, wanted on charges in the US

Washington and Moscow will both request extradition, putting Astana in diplomatic bind

Cybercrime - July 10, 2023

At the end of June 2023, the Kazakhstani police apprehended Nikita Kislitsin, former head of security for Group-IB, following a US indictment. American authorities claim the Russian national hacked the (now defunct) Formspring social network in 2012 and “conspired with Yevgeniy Nikulin”.  The latter is a Russian cybercriminal who was sentenced to seven years in prison in 2020 for stealing 117 million usernames and passwords from Dropbox, Formspring and LinkedIn in 2012.

The charges go back to 2020. At the time, Nikita Kislitsin was a seven-year employee of Group-IB, a Russian cybersecurity corporation. After the invasion of Ukraine, Group-IB moved its headquarters to Singapore and gradually left Russia. Since April 2023, the company is no longer present on Russian soil.

Dmitry Volkov, cofounder and CEO of Group-IB, sold all of the company’s assets to its local senior management. The new bosses assembled the assets into a new entity, unrelated to Group-IB, named FACCT (for “Fight Against Cybercrime Technologies”). Nikita Kislitsin is today an employee of FACCT.

The company made it clear that the events leading to his arrest are “not related to his work with FACCT, but to a case that goes back ten years, when Nikita worked as a journalist and independent researcher.”

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