This isn't good. Dancho Danchev, a ZDNet blogger specialising in malware and cybercrime, has been missing since August, thought to be somewhere in Bulgaria. ZDNet's only lead? This cryptic message: "Dancho's alive but he's in a lot of trouble."
That note came from a "local source", and all other attempts to contact Danchev have come up dry. ZDNet posted a letter Danchev wrote to a colleague in the malware field in September, suggesting that the government was displeased with his work:
[Name redacted] ,
As I consider you as a trusted colleague, and someone who understands the big picture of cyber crime and cyber espionage, I'm attaching you photos of the "current situation in my bathroom", courtesy of Bulgarian Law enforcement+intell services who've been building a case trying to damage my reputation, for 1.5 years due to my clear pro-Western views+the fact that a few months ago, the FBI Attache in Sofia, Bulgaria recommended me as an expert to Bulgarian CERT -> clearly you can see how they say "You're Welcome".
I'm sending you these not with the idea to see them published, but as an insurance in case things get ugly, knowing that a trusted third-party has access to these and can always distribute them to [redacted]mailing list members, and pretty much the entire industry, especially the press.
The LEO behind the whole operation: [ NAME REDACTED ]
I'm in a process of contacting journalists -> just in case.
I hope you're the trusted industry contact that I think you are, and you'll basically keep these somewhere safe. Thank you, and please use my PGP key.
Yup, that seems to be some sort of bug.
ZDNet posted the letter in hopes that someone will come forward with some information about Danchev's whereabouts, and we certainly hope that he'll turn up soon. [ZDNet]