Edition, The Insider, and Bellingcat, and the BBC claim to have established a real name of one of the suspects in the poisoning Skrobala using information from Russian databases.
“We are not going to participate in speculation about their real names,” replied the Scotland Yard at the request of DW to comment on a joint investigation Bellingcat and The Insider of the suspects in the poisoning of former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Julia on March 4, 2018 in Salisbury. Investigative journalists argue that the identified one of the suspects; his name is Ruslan Bashirov, and Anatoly Chapiha and he is a GRU Colonel.
The British defense Secretary Gavin Williamson first confirmed the findings of the investigation, but then erased his own message on Twitter. However, British police expressed confidence that “Bashirova” and “Petrov” alias, and the sources of the Agency Reuters on security issues close to the investigation confirmed the correctness of the findings of Bellingcat and The Insider, adding that the real names of suspects already known to investigators in London.
The Russian newspaper Kommersant was able to contact the villagers of Berezovka in the Amur region, which has long lived family Chapiha. Friends, who asked not to name them uniquely identified “Ruslan Bashirov” as Anatoly the Chapiha.
“Base FMS” and the other “more information”
As enthusiastic investigators of the particular project and the Russian journalists managed to trace the two officers of the GRU? “We had no expectations that we will be able to establish their passport details,” said the Guardian head Bellingcat Eliot Higgins. However, he said, they “began to address the people” in “more information” and “some information were very specialized.” The main source of information about the two suspects, according to the description in the investigation, became the Russian state databases of different types.
The involvement of “Ruslan Bashirov” (Chepiga) and Alexander Petrov to the intelligence services Bellingcat and The Insider has established, according to them, due to the “base of FMS” (the Federal migration service of the Russian Federation. – Ed.). The possibility that the Russian interior Ministry denied: database of the FMS it is impossible to determine whether a person is an employee of the GRU or any other Agency, commented on the investigation, Deputy interior Minister Igor Zubov in an interview with the Russian news Agency “Interfax”.
Russian officials critical of the work of Bellingcat, denying its findings, calling the British project, specializiruetsya on military investigations, “disguise” for the Western, especially British, intelligence services. At the same time, the Russian authorities, according to media reports, initiate criminal proceedings against the journalists involved in the investigation of possible poisoners Skrobala.
Databases a lot, and you can buy them
Published 26 sentjabrja the third part of the Bellingcat investigation and The Insider talking about the telephone directories and databases for utility services. Their investigators, as they say, downloaded the torrent networks. All searches took about a month. The fact that in Russia for a small fee available in various databases, “know all adults in Russia, especially those who faced some difficulties,” indicates the Russian journalist Alexander plushev.
“We know that the market is full of databases of traffic police, motoring, utilities and banks. They are, they are sold on the “crust” (the market in Moscow. – Ed.) they are journalists, exactly, including what is most amazing, state-run media,” says ivy.
The Internet is quite easy to find websites where you can for little money to buy a variety of government databases, confirmed DW and Ruslan Leviev, the founder of the activist group Conflict Intelligence Team (CIT). He, however, believes that one should not overestimate the importance of such information sources: “the biggest problem with them is that these bases are always very old. If you manage to find online money database that is relevant at least for the year 2010 is a huge success.”
However, Leviev has drawn attention to the fact that in the case of Bellingcat investigation and The Insider are not only similar databases but also photographs, scanned copies of completed questionnaires, etc. “Like I never was not met, despite the fact that a lot of work with the fusion in the Internet databases,” says Leviev.
Information about the officers of the GRU could find on the darknet?
To imagine that such a database would be available online, and anyone could “run” interested person, Leviev difficult. “First, a database with photo files of passports and personal data needs to be of incredible size, not less than a few terabytes – this is about 100 000 000 records; second, in this case, it has long been many other investigators would continually use the same base, showing the personal data of deputies, Ministers, their relatives, or infamous persons such as Igor Girkin-Strelkov, Sergey Dubinsky and others. But this is not” – said Ruslan Leviev.
However, he suggested that investigators could find someone who is in the network darknet (anonymous part of the Internet with a decentralized communication system and encryption. – Ed.) “money can anonymously make extracts from real, actual database of passports, with photographs”.
Alexandra ivy was puzzled by the reference to some base of the FMS: “with regard to the database of the FMS, I don’t know if it exists at all. What is mentioned in the cases Bashirova and Petrov, associated with base “a Russian passport”. According to him, we are talking about the database of MIA of Russia.
“Have access to the officers – almost all. Sold on “the top crust” or in the torrents, I don’t know,” says the journalist. However, he believes that those who “can easily for some recompense or even free to ask to break a man”. In clarifying the issues in DW Bellingcat at the time of publication has not responded.
DW interviewed journalists believe that the use of databases is not illegal. “If you don’t hack into these databases yourself, don’t use “Dating” to log into the system of such databases and to extract, all the risk is shifted on to the shoulders of the one who leaked this base,” adds Ruslan Leviev. Alexander Plyuschev also sure that “the law is violated those who have them (of the database. – Ed.) hacked and put up on the Internet.”
Bellingcat and The Insider promised soon to provide information about the second suspect in the poisoning Skrobala, known under the name of Alexander Petrov. Publication date is not yet known.
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