The man accused of breaching Bulgaria’s tax agency has been released and charged on lesser counts.
Kristian Boykov 20-year-old Bulgarian cybersecurity worker was arrested in Sofia, Bulgaria, last week on a charge of computer crime against critical infrastructure, which carries a maximum sentence of eight years in jail, after gaining unauthorized access to the data of more than five million taxpayers in Bulgaria, which has a total population of 7.1 million.
The charges have since been downgraded to a lesser charge of crime against information systems, which has a maximum jail sentence of three years.
Some have argued that Boykov is a “white hat hacker” pointing to his headline-making work in 2017 when he exposed vulnerabilities within the Bulgarian education ministry’s website.
Boykov described that feat in a television interview as “fulfilling my civic duty.”
The New York Times reported some Bulgarian officials suspect the breach may have been linked to Russia as retaliation for the Bulgaria’s purchase of American-made fighter jets but police are still in the early stages of the investigation.