Nikita Kislitsin: head of FACCT department arrested in Kazakhstan
He is suspected of illegal access to computer information.
Russian authorities have put Nikita Kislitsin, head of department at FACCT, a cybercrime software company (formerly known as Group-IB), on the wanted list, according to the Interior Ministry database. RBC learned in the Tverskoy Court of Moscow that he had been arrested in absentia. From the file of the Moscow City Court it follows that he is suspected of illegal access to computer information protected by law (part 3 of article 272 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation). The sanction of the article imputed to him provides for up to 5 years in prison.
According to the FACCT press service, on June 22, Kislitsin was detained in Kazakhstan.
“At the moment, Nikita Kislitsin is under temporary detention in Kazakhstan to study the basis for extradition arrest at the request of the United States,” the company’s press service also said.
Kislitsin leads the FACCT department for the development of solutions for complex counteraction to complex cyber attacks. The company claims that Kislitsin’s problems are not related to his work in FACCT, but are connected with the events of ten years ago, when he was a journalist and an independent expert. In 2006-2012, Kislitsin worked as editor-in-chief of the Hacker magazine.
“We believe that there are no legal grounds for his detention on the territory of Kazakhstan. We turned to lawyers for help, who have been providing Nikita with all the necessary support since last week, and also sent a request to the Consulate General of the Russian Federation in Kazakhstan to protect our employee, ”the company said in a statement.
In 2020 US Department of Justice named Kislitsin is one of the suspects in the case of Russian hacker Yevgeny Nikulin (he is accused of hacking LinkedIn, Dropbox and Formspring). According to the US department, Kislitsin participated in 2012 in hacking Formspring, stealing user data and trying to sell it. Group-IB denied the accusations against Kislitsin and stated that they relate to the period when he did not work for Group-IB.
FACCT is the legal successor of Group-IB, which sold its Russian business to local top managers in 2023. The founder of the company was Ilya Sachkov. After the deal, he retained a controlling stake in FACCT. In 2021, Sachkov was arrested on charges of treason. The case of Sachkov is classified. Group-IB was headed by another co-founder of the company – Dmitry Volkov.