Arrested Tornado Cash Developer Accused Of Having Ties With Russia’s FSB

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Nick Grothaus, Kharon’s Vice President of Research, states: “You had this guy working for [Digital Security OOO] and doing pen testing himself, and then Treasury designated the company for helping the FSB’s hacking capabilities.”

Investigation firm Kharon alleges Tornado Cash developer and PepperSec CEO Alexey Pertsev was a former employee of a security company affiliated with Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB).

The news came as Alexey was ordered by the Dutch court to remain in pre-trial detention for three months, despite not having any charges filed against him. The incident was met with significant public backlash, with several privacy advocates protesting for his release in Amsterdam.

In light of these developments, Kharon conducted its investigations on the matter and revealed that Alexey worked for Digital Security OOO as an information security specialist and developer of smart contracts in 2017. 

Digital Security OOO is believed to have provided material and technological support for the Federal Security Service of Russia since 2018. The U.S. Treasury accuses the firm of working on a project to enhance Russia’s cyber services and hacking capabilities. Moreover, the OFAC sanctioned Digital Security OOO in 2018 due to links between the firm and Russian spies.

Interestingly, the other PepperSec Founders: Roman Storm and Roman Semenov, are not under fire, thus implying that the report targets Alexey alone.

Alexey’s wife, Xenia Malik, has denied these claims, stating, “Alexey has never been associated with the FSB of the Russian Federation and similar organizations. We moved to the Netherlands in the hope of a quiet, stable and free life, which is unimaginable in military Russia.”

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Written by
Ayush Pande
Nick Grothaus, Kharon’s Vice President of Research, states: “You had this guy working for [Digital Security OOO] and doing pen testing himself, and then Treasury designated the company for helping the FSB’s hacking capabilities.”

Investigation firm Kharon alleges Tornado Cash developer and PepperSec CEO Alexey Pertsev was a former employee of a security company affiliated with Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB).

The news came as Alexey was ordered by the Dutch court to remain in pre-trial detention for three months, despite not having any charges filed against him. The incident was met with significant public backlash, with several privacy advocates protesting for his release in Amsterdam.

In light of these developments, Kharon conducted its investigations on the matter and revealed that Alexey worked for Digital Security OOO as an information security specialist and developer of smart contracts in 2017. 

Digital Security OOO is believed to have provided material and technological support for the Federal Security Service of Russia since 2018. The U.S. Treasury accuses the firm of working on a project to enhance Russia’s cyber services and hacking capabilities. Moreover, the OFAC sanctioned Digital Security OOO in 2018 due to links between the firm and Russian spies.

Interestingly, the other PepperSec Founders: Roman Storm and Roman Semenov, are not under fire, thus implying that the report targets Alexey alone.

Alexey’s wife, Xenia Malik, has denied these claims, stating, “Alexey has never been associated with the FSB of the Russian Federation and similar organizations. We moved to the Netherlands in the hope of a quiet, stable and free life, which is unimaginable in military Russia.”

We’re glad you read to this point!

Every week, we publish an email newsletter highlighting all the juicy stories we covered in the crypto space, bringing all the major happenings to your doorstep.

So, if you want to have top stories delivered to your email inbox every week, subscribe to our newsletter!

Written by
Ayush Pande