Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) Hacks Facebook Servers

On June 18th, the Moscow trial of ChronoPay owner Paul Wroblewski revealed that the Federal Security Service of Russia (FSB Russia) hacked into Facebookservers to collect information used in Wroblewski’s trial.  Wroblewski is currently on trial for conducting Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks on the servers of a rival online payment system in 2010.  The backstory of the trial is rife with the usual Russian allegations of corruption and security service malfeasance.  Indeed, on June 18th Wroblewski’s lawyer Pavel Zaitsev protested the inclusion of correspondence that the FSB obtained by hacking Wroblewski’s Facebook account.  According to a letter presented to the court, the FSB first requested the information through official channels.  The FSB then hacked into the Facebook account as part of“Operational Search Measures” when the request was denied.  The court acknowledged that the FSB bypassed international conventions and treaties, however, the information was allowed as evidence.

The FSB Information Security Center—also known as Military Unit (Vch) 64829—conducted the Facebook intrusion.  The Information Security Center is located in the FSB Counterintelligence Directorate—the 2nd Directorate—and monitors the Russian Internet.  Taia Global analysis, however, long assessed the Information Security Center capable of offensive operations.  Indeed, President Putin’s Edict No. 31 of 15 February 2013 tasked the FSB with establishing a nationwide system for protecting Russia’s critical information infrastructure.  The mission included handling the exchange of information with foreign governments and authorities.  Russian press speculates that the FSB Information Security Center—and other FSB components such as Scientific Research Center No. 3—will form the basis for the new structure.