FSB believes Safronov used encryption utility to hand over confidential data – attorney

TASS Russian News Agency | Jul 13, 2020 at 4:59 PM


MOSCOW, July 13. /TASS/. The Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) claims that advisor to the head of Russia's Roscosmos space agency and former journalist of Kommersant and Vedomosti newspapers Ivan Safronov handed over state secret confidential data to Czech intelligence services using a special encryption service, Safronov's attorney Ivan Pavlov told reporters.

"According to the FSV version of events, he allegedly used the Internet to hand over classified data via VeraCrypt, an encryption utility," he noted.

According to open sources, VeraCrypt is a special software used for ‘on-the-fly' encryption, meaning that data is automatically encrypted and decrypted when read or recorded.

Ivan Safronov, an advisor to the Roscosmos chief, was detained by the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) on July 7 on suspicion of treason. Moscow's Lefortovo court placed him in custody until September 6. Safronov is facing up to 20 years in prison if found guilty. The FSB says that Safronov was recruited in 2012 and in 2017 he provided the Czech intelligence agencies with information about Russian arms supplies to the Middle East and Africa. The information was later passed on to the US counterparts, according to the case materials.

He worked for Kommersant newspaper until May 2019, in July 2019 he joined Vedomosti. Safronov was employed as the Roscosmos advisor on June 18, 2020.