Wednesday, 21 November, 2018

Treasury slaps sanctions on Russian firms and execs over cyberattacks

Wiki Media Commons Wiki Media Commons
Ellis Copeland | 14 June, 2018, 07:24

The United States slapped sanctions Monday on at least one Israeli company over links to a Russian firm accused of buttressing the "offensive cyber capabilities" of Russia's intelligence service, the FSB.

"The United States is making efforts to counter malicious organizations that work at the direction of the Russian authorities, the Russian military and its intelligence to increase offensive abilities in cybersphere",- said the Minister. The latter provides underwater equipment and diving systems for Russian agencies.

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The sanctions block property under United States jurisdiction belonging to companies and people and also prevent them from making any transactions with "US persons".

Examples of Russia's malign and destabilizing cyber activities include the destructive NotPetya cyber-attack; cyber intrusions against the US energy grid to potentially enable future offensive operations; and global compromises of network infrastructure devices, including routers and switches, also to potentially enable disruptive cyber-attacks.

Treasury said Digital Security had provided material and technological support to Russia's Federal Security Services, or FSB.

Since the USA intelligence community released its conclusion in January 2017 that Moscow had engaged in a hacking-and-propaganda campaign during the 2016 presidential election, US authorities have stepped up efforts to punish cybercompanies who have allegedly worked with Russian security agencies.

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Mnuchin said the U.S.is committed to "aggressively targeting" anyone aiding the FSB, saying the US would do so under the 2017 sanctions law, known as the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).

It also called out Russian efforts to track the underwater communication cables that carry most of the world's telecommunications data.

Of particular interest are Embedi and ERPScan, who are both well known within the infosec community. 13694, as amended, for being owned or controlled by Digital Security.

The Kvant Scientific Research Institute was also included on the blacklist, as a state enterprise supervised by the FSB.

The individuals named on Monday all had ties to Divetechnoservices: its general director, Aleksandr Lvovich Tribun; its program manager, Oleg Sergeyevich; and Chirikov and Vladimir Yakovlevich Kaganskiy, the company's owner.

While the Trump administration has time and again vocally supported the Russian government, including recently advocating for its inclusion in the G7, President Donald Trump did sign on a new Russian sanctions bill last summer.

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