European Spy Announces Russian Prisoner/U.S. Election Hack Potential Stunner

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Yet another new connection has been made regarding the 2016 Democratic National Committee email hack.

On Thursday, McClatchy revealed that one of the men listed in a DNC hack-related dossier compiled by Christopher Steele, a former British spy, may be Sevastyan Kaptsugovich, a twice-convicted Russian pedophile currently imprisoned in Moscow.

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It is not yet certain if Kaptsugovich is the same person named in the dossier due to spelling discrepancies — the name in the dossier is “Seva Kapsovich.” However, Kaptsugovich’s history has led officials to believe that he may have been involved. His history apparently “matches that of a computer expert…who’d been “compromised” by the Russian intelligence agency known as the FSB and forced into cooperating in the Russian meddling in the U.S. election.”

McClatchy is questioning whether “Seva Kapsovich” and Sevastyan Kaptsugovich are the same person because, so far, no one has been found with the name “Seva Kapsovich” who matches the description in the dossier. The investigation has also been driven by the fact that the spelling of Kapsovich/Kaptsugovich’s name varies throughout the dossier. When searching for alternate spellings of “Kapsovich,” references to Kaptsugovich came up.

Kaptsugovich, who is believed to be at least 45 years old, was first arrested on pedophilia charges in Russia in March 2001 and was sentenced to 11 years in prison. He did not serve his full sentence, but was convicted again in 2013 for similar crimes and sentenced to more than 18 years in a penal colony.

Steele’s dossier suggests that Kaptsugovich was forced to cooperate with the FSB, perhaps using methods similar to those he used to publish child pornography on the internet. The dossier says that hackers used “botnets and porn traffic to transmit (computer) viruses, plant bugs, steal data and conduct ‘altering operations’ against the Democratic Party leadership.”

It’s likely that, with his background, Kaptsugovich would have been able to help carry out the DNC hack.McClatchy questioned Pavel Vrublevsky, a Russia internet pioneer, about whether or not Kaptsugovich could have been involved. Vrublevsky merely commented:

‘The truth is hidden in the shadows.’

It’s all speculation at this point, it seems. McClatchy has suggested, though, that it is not completely outlandish to believe that a Russian spy agency would have found a way to work with Kaptsugovich “given the FSB’s well-documented tolerance and even embrace of criminal organizations.”

 Featured image via Don Hankins/Flickr, available under a Creative Commons license.