NRA-leaks: Hackers tried to break into other state computer systems

“Why prosecutors should keep silent while defence attorneys take the floor?” Geshev asks

Photo: BGNES TAD Group owner Ivan Todorov

Apart from the data of the National Revenue Agency (NRA) the hackers of TAD GROUP tried to illegally breach databases of other state institutions, but not all of their attempts were successful. This transpires from the new body of evidence in the probe into Ivan Todorov, owner of TAD GROUP, Commercial CEO of the company Georgi Yankov and officer Kristian Boykov, which the Prosecutor’s Office published on Friday.

As Europost reminds, Boykov is charged with cyberterrorism for hacking the personal data of 5,100,000 Bulgarian citizens kept in the NRA database and sending it to the Bulgarian and foreign media afterwards. In the meantime, Todorov and Yankov face charges as instigators of the crime. Except the witnesses’ testimony the investigating officers have at their disposal the information downloaded from defendants’ computers and mobile phones and video cameras of the company.

On 18 January 2019, users “I v” identified as I.P. and John Doe (owner) identified as Kristian Boykov, participate in a chat with the latter writing, “Tell L. that those from (follows the name of the institution, - Ed.’s note) are scrutinizing the logs and most probably will patch up the hole by the evening… He should hurry up and download on time.” The attempt however turned out to be unsuccessful because the IT experts of the aforementioned state institution were on alert and prevented the information leak.

The investigators also found a Telegram chat group, which includes participants with user names “Z TAD” identified as Z.M., John Doe (owner) identified as Kristian Boykov, Ivan Todorov, identified as Ivan Todorov, “I v” identified as I.P, “G” identified as G.A., “Ts” identified as Ts. G. and “I TAD” identified as I.A. On 11 July 2019, in the chat Boykov sends to Todorov the web address of the state institution and writes, „@Chapoblan, see who made the site :)“. Todorov replies, “Well, it seems it is theirs,” to which Boykov replies, “Next week they will be on bivol.bg.”

Kristian Boykov and Georgi Yankov are remanded in custody on BGN 20,000 bail. On Thursday, the Specialised Appellate Court changed the pre-trial restriction for Todorov from a BGN 100,000 bail to “police custody”. The reasoning is that there are grounded assumptions that he is implicated in the crime he is charged with and might exert influence over company staff if he is at large.

On Saturday in Varna, Deputy Prosecutor General Ivan Geshev explained that the information released by the state prosecution was made public with the approval of the supervising prosecutor.

“The sole aim is not to let it be used for insinuations, although it has already been used so. This information was provided after it was presented in court, after the court discussed it and came out with a ruling. So, there is no procedural abuse. And if someone doesn’t like the truth this is not the problem of the Prosecutor’s Office,” Geshev said.

In his words, the prosecution has no reason to keep silent provided it is not guilty.     

Geshev also asked what the prosecution is guilty for – could it be accused of arresting the largest criminal group of phone fakers and for one month there has been no fake calls in Bulgaria or of holding in custody half of the local thugs or criminals that haven’t been touched during the entire transition period.

“Is it what we have to be ashamed of?” asked the nominee for the Prosecutor General.

Regarding objections to his nomination for the Prosecutor General, he said that they are voiced mainly by a small extra-parliamentary party which doesn’t like him. However, to him the opinion of the common citizens is more important as the prosecution is working for their sake.

“To me it is important that the prosecution is functional and earns trust and respect of the people,” Geshev underscored.

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