December 2, 2023

Two high-ranking cybersecurity officers in Ukraine have been dismissed on Monday, in keeping with a senior authorities official, amid an investigation into suspected embezzlement of state funds.

Yurii Shchyhol, the pinnacle of Ukraine’s State Service for Particular Communications and Info Safety (SSSCIP), mentioned in an announcement that he submitted his resignation from the put up early this morning.

“I’m assured that I will show my innocence throughout an neutral investigation and instantly in courtroom,” Shchyhol mentioned.

His deputy, Viktor Zhora, who was additionally reportedly sacked, did not publicly announce his dismissal and did not touch upon the probe. In a current interview with Recorded Future Information’ Dina Temple-Raston, Zhora made no allusion to bother on the company, and mentioned his plans about future tasks at SSSCIP. Zhora didn’t reply to a request for remark.

SSSCIP is one in every of a number of Ukrainian safety businesses. It’s answerable for the cyber safety of state info sources and demanding infrastructure.

Shchyhol led SSSCIP since 2020. His first deputy, Dmytro Makovskyi, has been appointed because the interim head of the company, in keeping with an official assertion.

Embezzlement probe

The firings coincided with an announcement by Ukraine’s anti-corruption businesses that they’re investigating a software program procurement scheme, allegedly involving Shchyhol and Zhora, in addition to 4 different suspects who weren’t recognized by identify.

In response to the assertion by Ukraine’s Nationwide Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU), the suspects managed to embezzle $1.72 million between 2020 and 2022 by classifying the procurement of software program for the SSSCIP.

The stolen funds have been supposedly moved to accounts of managed corporations overseas “to make them authorized and distribute among the many members of the group,” in keeping with NABU.

Shchyhol mentioned that “all the SSSCIP’s purchases from 2020 have been carried out in compliance with present laws.” The software program in query was meant to guard Ukraine from cyber threats, he added.

In response to SSSCIP’s assertion, the company has offered the required info for the investigation to legislation enforcement and added that it operates “on the ideas of openness and has zero tolerance for corruption.”

“We urge you to chorus from making accusations in opposition to particular officers or workers who’re at present concerned within the safety of the vital info infrastructure of Ukraine, till the investigation is accomplished and the outcomes of the investigation are given a authorized analysis by the courtroom.”

These are the newest dismissals of high-ranking state officers which have taken place in Ukraine over the previous yr because the nation escalates its anti-corruption efforts — an important step to becoming a member of Western alliances such because the European Union.

In September, Ukraine’s protection minister, Oleksii Reznikov, was ousted amid a number of corruption scandals on the ministry, associated to the procurement of products and tools for the navy at inflated costs.

In November, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyi dismissed the deputy head of the international intelligence service of Ukraine.

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Daryna Antoniuk
is a contract reporter for Recorded Future Information based mostly in Ukraine. She writes about cybersecurity startups, cyberattacks in Japanese Europe and the state of the cyberwar between Ukraine and Russia. She beforehand was a tech reporter for Forbes Ukraine. Her work has additionally been revealed at Sifted, The Kyiv Unbiased and The Kyiv Publish.