Russian Arrested In Spain Over Suspicion Of US Election Hacking

Tyler Durden's picture

An alleged Russian hacker, Pyotr Levashov, has been detained in Barcelona at the request of the FBI, an arrest that set cybersecurity circles abuzz after a Russian broadcaster raised the possibility it was linked to the U.S. presidential election, AP reports. A spokeswoman for Spain's National Court said that the Pyotr Levashov was arrested in response to a U.S. computer crimes warrant while a spokesman for the Russian embassy in Madrid confirmed the arrest on Sunday.

While it was not immediately clear why Levashov was arrested, Russian television station RT reported that Levashov was arrested under a U.S. international arrest warrant and was suspected of being involved in hacking attacks linked to alleged interference in last year's U.S. election. Peter Carr, a spokesman for the U.S. Justice Department’s criminal division, said: "The U.S. case remains under seal, so we have no information to provide at this time."

Defusing speculation that the arrest was in connection with the election hacking as some have suggested, Reuters reports that according to a U.S. Department of Justice official the arrest was a criminal matter without an apparent national security connection. Spanish authorities notified the Russian embassy of Levashov's arrest on Friday, the embassy spokesman said.

The NYT adds that computer researchers who have linked the long-running computer spam business of the man known as Peter Severa to malware used in 2012 to influence a domestic election in Russia say his arrest could give other investigations important information. Levashov was arrested in Barcelona, where he had been vacationing with his family, according to a report on RT, a state-owned Russian television network. The report cited his wife, who said the Spanish police had detained Mr. Levashov at the request of the American authorities. Levashov's wife Maria was quoted by RT as saying that her husband was arrested by armed police at their apartment in Barcelona. She said her husband told her he had been accused of creating a computer virus "linked to (President Donald) Trump's election win."

Spamhaus, a group that tracks spammers, has for years listed Peter Severa as among the top 10 perpetrators in the world, and has identified him as Mr. Levashov. Brian Krebs, an American cybersecurity researcher, wrote in 2012 that Peter Severa could be another Russian man, Viktor Ivashov, and not Mr. Levashov.


The Russian name Peter Severa, which translates roughly as Peter of the North, could refer to Mr. Levashov’s hometown, St. Petersburg, or Peter North, an actor in pornographic films, in a reference to the online pornography businesses. Along with sending spam advertising, according to Spamhaus, Peter Severa worked with Alan Ralsky, an American spam operator who was convicted in the United States of fraud.


The Russian cybersecurity researchers Andrei Soldatov and Irina Borogan wrote in 2012 that participants in online Russian hacker forums were discussing whether Peter Severa had been recruited by the F.S.B., the successor to the K.G.B. The researchers said Peter Severa had been on closed chat sites trying to recruit underground hackers for a later abandoned effort by the Russian security services to crash Islamic extremist websites.

Peter Severa’s spam operation ran a sophisticated, evolving family of computer viruses called Waledac and later Kelihos, developed in part by a former military engineer also living in St. Petersburg named Andrei N. Sabelnikov, according to a 2012 American court filing by Microsoft.

The court filing and related forensic work on the Kelihos virus illustrated how criminal hacker tools are repurposed for political ends. The filing identified Mr. Sabelnikov as the designer of the Kelihos virus.


The Kelihos virus, which had been devised to spread spam, was used during the Russian election in 2012 to send political messages to email accounts on computers with Russian I.P. addresses. The emails linked to fake news stories saying that Mikhail D. Prokhorov, the businessman running for president against Vladimir V. Putin, had come out as gay.

Even if Levashov's arrest is linked to the alleged US election hacking, it may come at an awkward moment, just as Trump's foreign policy U-turn stands to alienate the Kremlin, and bring any "detente" momentum between DC and Moscow to a grinding halt. It is also unclear how "hacking" via spam may have influenced potential voters' choices.

In January, Spanish police arrested another Russian computer programmer, whose name was given as "Lisov" and who was wanted by the United States for leading a financial fraud network.

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1980XLS's picture


"U.S. international arrest warrant"

Why is Soros not arrested?

NidStyles's picture

Since when is that a thing? I guess the whole planet is nothing more than puppet states for ZOG now.


Good luck to all of you, if that is the case. It's bad enough a thing that has no evidence anywhere of being real is getting people cruise missiled, now fake news is getting people arrested in foregin countries.

new game's picture

sorass is in the club. a protected class of billionaires. when was the last tyme a billionaire was arrested for anything?

wealth = imunity in this world of written laws backed by violence bought and paid for by controllers of the violence.

simple shit maynard...

apadictionary's picture

Americans arrested in Syria for trying to overthrow democratically elected president.

FrozenGoodz's picture

But but ... Trump said Russia had nothing to do with the election ... the real story, per trump, is leaking ... this all must just be a big misunderstanding


In other news, did you guys see the fireworks show over Syria? Couple billion in expenses for a few broken planes, and a cafeteria - but so worth it


Tired of all this winning

beemasters's picture

What difference does it make now??? Rigged election or not, Trump has proven to be just another Hillary.

None of his stronger supporters will fight for him this time.

JailBank's picture

So now spamming FaceBook and Twatter is hacking? OK I guess. I don't see how this affected the election at all.


Unless there is proof this dude handed in 200,000 ballots or corrutped an electronic voting machine what is the deal here?

StackShinyStuff's picture

Convenient timing on this news

beemasters's picture

Yes, convenient. Russia has finally come clean hacking the election. Now Trump's legitimacy should be in question and his war order officially invalid/illegal.

JRobby's picture

"Must keep the narrative alive at all costs!!!!"

"How much will it cost to turn him?"

Took Red Pill's picture

Wikileaks has stated their source was not Russia

eatthebanksters's picture

The sole purpose of this arrest was to keep the rumor of Trump collusion with the Russian's alive. This was for Pelosi, Waters, Schiff and the rest of the libtard ingrates.  There is nothing here but an embarrassment for the FBI, wait and see.  Comey shoulf resign when this case falls apart.

veritas semper vinces's picture

Isnt it funny that now they arrest regular folks,even foreigners,based on rumors,innuendo,unproved accusations,but  bankers,politicians ,see eye ayy,pentagram guys with financial and war crimes are ignored?

The joke is on us bc we let them do it.

land_of_the_few's picture

And also material not from a hacking source. There may well have been security breaches ... but what's new for the extraordinarily careless Dems.

thisandthat's picture

So, essencially, those Russians can now hack machines that aren't even connected to the internet, like the US electoral machines!

And he did it from the comfort of his off-grid dacha too, I bet.

Those samovars must be getting really sophisticated...

ponzy_scheme's picture
ponzy_scheme (not verified) JailBank Apr 10, 2017 7:01 AM

I'm making over $7k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life. This is what I do...

serotonindumptruck's picture

"Hacking" might also be defined as insulting or rude behavior.

"He was hacking on me."

Arnold's picture

Much like 'wiretapping', it is a term that the lower 1/3 of the bell curve can understand when they read it in a tablet headline.

PacOps's picture

Interesting observation over at FR.


an excerpt:


I start Syria with Russia because at some point, somewhere, Putin had to get a message that while we want peace and want to work with him, he cannot possibly be allowed to threaten (as he already has) American ships at sea and sail in our waters. This is flat out aggression. 

It can be stopped, and nipped in the bud, but how? Consider Syria a "brush back pitch" to the Russian batter. (In baseball, when the hitter takes advantage of the plate and gets too far into the pitcher's zone, the pitcher throws one high and tight to brush him back and say, "No, you have to play by the rules.") 

I do believe Putin not only got this message, but was expecting it. He wanted to see if Trump was Obama The bad news is that it had to go on this long, but like any aggressor, the longer you wait, the bloodier it becomes to stop him. I think Putin got the message. Yes, he's making a lot of threats. But he now knows Trump will act when provoked and act DECISIVELY. Whether you agree with the strike or not, you can't accuse Trump of "indecision." 

Further, I think the brush-back pitch worked on Iran and the NORKs. Coming as it did when Xi was at dinner (indeed, I hear he was the first one to receive the news of the attack!), it was the equivalent of Trump pulling out a Colt .45 and laying it on the table and saying, "ok, Xi, let's chat." The fact that Xi apparently gave his blessing to American responses to the NORKs--in their own back yard---suggests the meeting was a 100% success. The brush back pitch was felt in China, too. 

Many here do not agree with Trump's action. Many think he was being "played." I have heard (haven't verified it) that the "vote" to fire the missiles was unanimous among the NatSec team, including Bannon. He of course would never confirm or deny, nor would I ask. But what we have from "fake" news is one story that it was Kush v Bannon, another that it was Kush/Bannon v Mattis, and a third that it was everyone agreeing.


Worth the time (mine anyway) to read the whole thing.


Jubal Early's picture

I am so sick of yankee's always trying to stretch the baseball or football analogy to fit whatever Zio-crisis is at hand.  Sorry, this has nothing to do with Trump making pushback pitches, it is about a MIC which not only is acting outside of his control, but also Trump is forced to play catch up on any press release to whatever the MIC has pulled off last.  At this point in time he looks even more irrellevant to their plans for Greater Israel than Obama was.

Arnold's picture

You hit a home run with that comment.

PacOps's picture

Your point is well taken. And as I sure as hell wasn't in the meeting so all we have are opinions and speculation. 

But yeah - home run on your response.  ;-)

Bendromeda Strain's picture

Why don't you define "sail in our waters" for us.

PacOps's picture

I have issue with that comment as well. And still found the post "interesting" vs. accepting it as gospel.

neversink's picture

I am so sick of assholes always trying to blame Jews and Zionists for all the world's problems. Jews make up less than 2/10,000th of one percent of the world's population and you blame them for everything. Meanwhile, more than 30,000 deadly jihadist attacks have occurred since 9-11 by Islamic fundamentalists who want to destroy the Jew as well as the Christian. Wake up!!

unsafe-space-time's picture

And how many jews were killed in those attacks vs goyim? If any jews were killed it was at that fag club attack in orlando.

Whoa Dammit's picture

Crickets on the proven DHS election system hacking. 

JailBank's picture

Yup there 100% proof that one regime did hack in to state electronic voting systems. Obama's DHS!

keep the bastards honest's picture

But he did kill women and children and civilians  and airmen also.

serotonindumptruck's picture

Well, in all fairness, there was that Allen Stanford dude, so apparently, if you piss off the wrong (((people))), even a billionaire can have their life ruined.

MFL5591's picture

This is just more of the Comey con game!

Vilfredo Pareto's picture

Well if he really is just an ordinary spammer and phone number and email thief I am quite happy to see him bust rocks for ten years.

ne-tiger's picture

Can we fucking stop this freak show? How many countries US of A have interfered, screwed up and  overthrown? 

Arnold's picture

I would count O'bama's tally at ten.

SoDamnMad's picture

You don't have that many friends with all their fingers and toes to count.

quadraspleen's picture

How convenient that a Russian should be arrested for this now...I wonder who he's working for..Just because he's Russian doesn't mean he's working for the Kremlin. Soros already has huge footholds into Russia..I view this with as much suspicion as everything I hear on TV or the radio now

25or6to4's picture

The next time I bet this fellow takes his holiday in Crimea instead of Western Europe . This is not a good time for a Russian citizen to be living/visiting and ZOG occupied country.

donhuangenaro's picture

framed by CIA Marble or whatever shit they call it...

dogismycopilot's picture

Because then Jared Kushner wouldn't get his $250 million loan for his 'brothers' newest real estate venture. 

True. Google it.

Oh Jesus, we got taken in by Trump. Hillary would have been worse but I thought we would have gotten at least a year or two respite before he failed us. 

25or6to4's picture

Indeed, other than the first week or twos flurry of executive orders Trump barely put up a fight. Oh well, on the the upside firearm prices are at fire sale level as I just bought the latest offerings from Remington, Savage, Mossberg and Marlin at bargain basement prices. However, at the rate things are going those bargains might not hold up for much longer.

Dog Will Hunt's picture

Yep--that's it. Jump right the fuck to your little goddamn Republican marching orders. Don't accept ANY responsibility for ignoring what your pwwecious widdwe Trump does. Christ, that'd break our hearts.

SoDamnMad's picture

Why is it the FBI does not have the authority to go into the DNC server to either acquit or investigate the democratically elected POTUS but they can get an arrest warrant in a foreign soverign country for a third party soverign individual without some burden of proof.  I sure hope Russia doesn't arrest John McCain when he is traveling the world starting wars.

CatsPaw's picture

I didnt know there is such a thing like an international arrest warrant.

I do know there are international human rights.

One of those is respected, the other one is not. I will give you two chances to guess, but you will only need 1.

Arnold's picture

Good Luck with that, Snowflakes.
Still searching for butthurt relief?

ronaldwilsonreagan's picture

The actual Snowflakes are the dumb mother fuckers that voted for Trump thinking they were going to get some wonderful alternative to Hillary. It is almost like they had never been through an election in the US before. Don't worry about your precious Orange Hitler, that limp dick asshole fuck isn't going anyplace he is one of them now, a made man. Suck it up punk! You lost too.

TeamDepends's picture

Nope, snowflakes are brainwashed SJW proglodytes who have abandoned logic and reason. We, on the other hand, realized the collapse was coming no matter who was elected and continued stacking all the necessary metals.

Vilfredo Pareto's picture

I got a better alternative to Hillary who would have tried to raise my taxes.


I am not really that concerned if others feel they voted wrong and would have preferred Hillary at this point.   With Hillary the bombing and military escalation would have continued until we were enmeshed in a new regional war with Iran and others.