The mystery behind cyberattacks on US targets has grown deeper as Czech police arrested a Russian hacker wanted by the United States for a “number of cyberattacks.” This comes at a crucial point in the 2016 election with only three weeks left before election day.
However, CNN reported:
The Russian citizen arrested Wednesday in Prague is not thought to be involved in those hacks according to U.S. officials with knowledge of the investigation.
The officials said that the investigation instead involves other, unspecified “criminal activity.”
USA Today further confirmed the Russian man is not involved with the cyberattacks that have been the focus of news media.
The suspect is not linked to recent breaches of the Democratic National Committee, the campaign of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton or recent cyber incursions of state voter databases that have prompted U.S. authorities to tighten computer defenses across the country, two federal law enforcement officials said.
The timing, however, is uncanny considering it is thought that cyberattacks performed on US targets appear to be an attempt to influence an already controversial presidential election. Furthermore, it comes after the US has officially accused Russian intelligence for hacking US targets.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein and California Rep. Adam Schiff:
Based on briefings we have received, we have concluded that the Russian intelligence agencies are making a serious and concerted effort to influence the US election.
Though details are slim, the Russian man was arrested in Prague at a hotel. CNBC reported the man collapsed after being surprised, suffering a “nervous breakdown” and was hospitalized. It will be up to Czech courts whether he will be extradited to the United States.
The operation was carried out jointly with Czech police and the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Russia did confirm the arrest as Alexey Kolmakov, press secretary for the Russian embassy, issued a statement saying, “The notice said he was arrested based on a request from a court in the United States. We insist the Russian citizen is handed to Russia.”
Czech police have revealed the identity of the Russian hacker as Yevgeniy N. They have been unclear on what hacking attacks he has been involved in.
You can watch the arrest of the Yevgeniy below.