A Russian court on Wednesday sentenced two members of an infamous hacking group to three years in jail for breaking into the accounts of high-ranking Russian officials.
Konstantin Teplyakov and Alexander Filinov were part of a group called Shaltai-Boltai — Russian for “Humpty Dumpty” — believed to be behind high-profile hacks, including into the Twitter account of Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.
They were found guilty of “gaining unlawful access to computer information” after a closed trial classified as “secret”, the Moscow city court said in a statement.
Among those Shaltai-Boltai were accused of targeting were lead Kremlin propagandist Dmitry Kiselyov and presidential advisor Andrei Belousov.
In 2014 the group claimed credit for breaking into the Twitter account of premier Medvedev and posting messages saying he was quitting the government in shame to become a freelance photographer and criticising President Vladimir Putin.
The group was initially portrayed as an anti-Kremlin collective, with its eye-catching leaks of official emails leaving the authorities red-faced.
But alleged members of the secretive collective have told media outlets that they made money by selling the hacked data to the highest bidder.
Group leader Vladimir Anikeyev was jailed for two years in July after admitting his guilt and agreeing to cooperate with the authorities.
The crackdown on Shaltai-Boltai came roughly at the same time as the detention of several high-ranking cybercrime officials at Russia’s FSB security agency, sparking speculation the cases were linked.
There has, however, been no confirmation that the arrests were connected.
Russian hackers are currently in the spotlight over allegations that Moscow was behind cyberattacks aimed at getting Donald Trump elected as US president last year.