Intelligence Firm Reveals Tornado Cash Dev’s Link With FSB
  • Pertsev worked for the Russian company Digital Security OOO as per Kharon.
  • Ksenia Malik, Pertsev’s wife, has repeatedly refuted rumors.

Prior to his involvement with Tornado Cash, Alexey Pertsev most certainly worked for a Russian security firm with connections to state intelligence organizations as per an intelligence firm.

The intelligence agency Kharon claims that in 2017, Pertsev worked for the Russian company Digital Security OOO. In 2018, the United States Treasury placed sanctions on the company on allegations that it had assisted Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) since 2015.

The Treasury Department released a list of five companies and three people, but Pertsev was not included. Kharon, on the other hand, claims to have uncovered Pertsev’s identity in the website archive of rival firm Digital Security OOO.

Pertsev seems to have had a substantial role in Digital Security OOO, albeit the company may not have exclusively operated with the FSB. Kharon’s VP of research Nick Grothaus told Fortune that before the US Treasury sanctioned the business for helping the FSB, Pertsev was “working for Digital Security OOO and doing [penetration] testing himself.”

Kharon further said that Pertsev, as the CEO and creator of the Delaware-based business PepperSEC, contributed to the development of the code for Tornado Cash. Notably, it did not establish a straight relationship between PepperSEC and Digital Security OOO or other Russian government entities.

Ksenia Malik, Pertsev’s wife, has repeatedly refuted rumors that her husband was involved with Russian intelligence. During an interview with media, she said that Pertsev has “never been associated with the FSB in Russia or with similar organizations.”

On August 8, the U.S. Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control blacklisted the Tornado Cash Ethereum currency mixer. In the days that followed, Dutch officials apprehended Pertsev.

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