Site Archive‎ > ‎News‎ > ‎Hacking‎ > ‎

Human Rights Lawyers' Internet Accounts Hacked

25 May 2012 

Source: Open Information Agency 

In May the e-mail, Skype and Facebook accounts of three lawyers working with Agora Human Rights Association were the victims of attacks by hackers. 

As Open Information Agency reports, on 6 May the Gmail and Yandex mail accounts of Olga Gnezdilova, a lawyer from Voronezh, were hacked, and also her Facebook account. After access to her Gmail account was restored, Olga Gnezdilova saw a message from the Facebook administration that someone from an IP address located in Lipetsk had changed her Facebook password. The same day as Olga Gnezdilova was checking in for a flight to Moscow, where she was planning to go to provide legal support to participants in the March of Millions, she was informed that she could not be checked in. 

“After the usual procedures during check in when they take your passport, electronic ticket and enter something in their computer, they suddenly told me that it was impossible for me to check in for the flight. My husband phoned the airline to find out what was the problem. After about 15 minutes the airline representative returned and said there had been a technical error. After this I was checked in.” 

On 7 May unknown persons hacked into the Gmail account of Moscow lawyer Svetlana Sidorkina. At the present time, Sidorkina’s mail account remains blocked and she has been obliged to use a reserve account. She is certain that the intrusion into her correspondence with clients was linked to the case of anti-fascist activist Aleksei Olesinov (Shkobar) for whom she has been acting as defence counsel. Olesinov is accused of attacking the security guards at a club during a punk rock concert where anti-fascist groups were performing. 

“Earlier the e-mail account of a witness for the defence in this case was hacked,” lawyer Svetlana Sidorkina said. “Materials were posted on the Internet that included my correspondence with this witness.” 

The St. Petersburg lawyer Dmitry Dinze links the hacking into his Skype account with his work as legal representative of civic activists in the case of the alleged extremism of the anti-fascist group RASH in Nizhny Novgorod, a city where the Centre to Combat Extremism (“Centre E”) of the Ministry of Internal Affairs is particularly active. At the beginning of May sources in the St. Petersburg and Leningrad region Ministry of Internal Affairs also warned Dmitry Dinze that an official search was underway for his passport, and that it had been cancelled.