Kazakhstan Detains Russian Hacker, U.S. and Russia Scramble to Extradite

On 22JUN23, Nikita Kislitsin, a Russian IT executive and hacker was detained in Kazakhstan for possible extradition to the United States. He is wanted in connection to the exploitation and sale of credentials from the social media site, Formspring. According to CyberScoop the indictment, unsealed in 2020, but issued in 2014:

”is short on details. It describes a conspiracy involving Kislitsin and a conspirator who allegedly breached Formspring in June 2012, then stole the company’s “user information database,” including encrypted passwords. Kislitsin then tried to sell that information to another co-conspirator for €5,500, according to the charges.”

FACCT, the company he is currently employed with made this statement:

“On June 22, Nikita Kislitsin, an employee of FACCT, a Russian developer of technologies for combating cybercrime, was detained in Kazakhstan. Nikita is responsible for developing the network security business in the company. Based on the information available, claims against Kislitsin are not related to his work at FACCT , but are connected with a case more than 10 years ago, when Nikita worked as a journalist and independent researcher,.”

“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 also sent an appeal to the Consulate General of the Russian Federation in Kazakhstan to assist in protecting our employee,” they added.

“Also, company representatives are in constant contact with the consulate and lawyers of the employee, monitor developments and provide comprehensive support to Kislitsin and his family…At the same time, no questions arose when crossing the border. No requests or appeals related to our employee were sent to the company either,” the press service emphasized.”

This story alone would not be significant if not for the issuance of an arrest warrant by the Tverskoy District Court of Moscow today. Their statement reads below:

“By the decision of the Tverskoy District Court of Moscow, a measure of restraint in the form of detention was chosen against Nikita Igorevich Kislitsyn, who is accused of committing a crime under Part 3 of Article 272 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (illegal access to legally protected information using his official position) for a period of 2 months, calculating the period from the moment of his extradition to the territory of the Russian Federation or from the moment of detention of the accused in the territory of the Russian Federation.”

This now sets up an extradition battle between the U.S. and the Russian Federation, with President Tokayev in the middle. Remember that Tokayev was one of the handful of leaders to call President Putin during the military crisis over the weekend, demonstrating the close connection between the two men.

Tessaron
Tessaron
United States Military Academy and American Military University Alumni. Victor covers flash military, intelligence, and geo-political updates.

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