Madrid – The FBI began investigating Russian hackers who may have interfered in the U.S. 2016 Presidential election last month and now they have found a suspect and an arrest has been made.
According to a spokeswoman for Spain’s National Court, Pyotr Levashow was arrested in Barcelona on a U.S. computer crimes warrant on Friday.
Levashow wife told Russia’s RT broadcaster that he was linked to America’s 2016 election hacking.
RT quoted Maria Levashova as saying that armed police stormed into their apartment in Barcelona overnight, keeping her and her friend locked in a room for two hours while they quizzed her husband. She said that when she spoke to her husband on the phone from the police station, he told her he was told that he had created a computer virus that was “linked to Trump’s election win.”
Journalist Brian Krebs reported that Levashov is no stranger to cybercrimes. He is alleged to be Peter Severa, a spam kingpin. Krebs has wrote extensively about Russian cybercrime underworld and Spamhaus, a group which polices spam.
Malicious software is routinely shared, reworked and repurposed, meaning that even a computer virus’ creator may have little or nothing to do with how the virus is eventually used.
The U.S. Embassy in Spain declined comment. Russian Embassy spokesman Vasily Nioradze confirmed the arrest but wouldn’t say whether he was a programmer, as reported by RT. He wouldn’t comment on the U.S. extradition order.