Russian Woman’s Startup Sanctioned by the US

A talented young Russian hacker Alisa Shevchenko has been helping companies to test their online security systems. She spends winters in the South-East Asia, meditating and training in Thai kickboxing, and was a couple hours drive from Bangkok when she learned that the White House accused her of helping Moscow interfere in the US election and put her company in the sanctions list.

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Alisa’s company was included in the list alongside top officers in Russia’s military intelligence agency and two well-known criminal hackers. The US claimed that her company provided the military intelligence agency with technical research and development.

The young woman was shocked to find her company on the list, as she has never knowingly worked for the Russian government. Alisa could only suggest that the US officials “technically incompetently misinterpreted the facts” or had been fooled by the real culprits. The woman explained that she was a perfect target, since she didn’t have any big money, power or connections behind her to respond to sanctions.

Shevchenko and her company are specializing in finding so-called “zero-days” – previously undisclosed software bugs that could leave companies vulnerable to hackers. The woman explains that her experts search for bugs and exploit them, but only with the customer’s approval. She doesn’t think any of her employees have a criminal background. Although Alisa admitted that she had been approached repeatedly by the officials (as she believes), she had always rejected the advances.

However, the woman also found out that being named as someone who hacked a US election can bring some benefits. Alisa has already received a number of employment, business partnership or collaboration offers after the sanctions list was released.

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Date:  Monday, January 9th, 2017

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