Published: Tue, June 12, 2018
People | By Neil Grant

U.S. Sanctions Russian Companies for 'Malicious' Cyberattacks

U.S. Sanctions Russian Companies for 'Malicious' Cyberattacks

In January, the Trump administration imposed new sanctions under CAATSA on significant transactions with the Russian defense and intelligence sectors.

The sanctions freeze any assets that they may have in USA jurisdictions and bar Americans from doing business with them.

According to a Treasury Department announcement, one of the entities is a company controlled by Russia's Federal Security Service, or FSB.

OFAC slapped sanctions on a firm called Digital Security and two subsidiaries for their work on an unspecified project "that would increase Russia's offensive cyber capabilities" for agencies including FSB, the Treasury Department said.

Anderson said the company's headquarters and research and development hub are located in Herzilya, north of Tel Aviv and that "we have no connections with Russia or the Russian government".

USA officials have become alarmed over the past year at the extent of US-targeted offensive cyber operations that Washington alleges have official backing from Moscow.

President Barack Obama also sanctioned the FSB in 2016 over alleged hacking of Democratic political organisations during the presidential race that year.

'The United States is committed to aggressively targeting any entity or individual working at the direction of the FSB whose work threatens the United States and will continue to utilize our sanctions authorities, including those provided under CAATSA, to counter the constantly evolving threats emanating from Russian Federation'.

The Treasury Department announced sanctions against five companies and three people on Monday, saying they'd help develop many of hacks coming out of Russian Federation.

More recently, USA officials also revealed that Kremlin-linked hackers staged a multi-year cyberattack campaign on the American energy sector and other elements of critical infrastructure.

The Russian state research center, the Kvant Institute, which specializes in research and technological development of electronic hardware and software for the state and its public institutions, has also been added to the sanctions list. Hacks in the runup to the United States presidential election in 2016 are also linked to Russian Federation. It also said that Russian Federation had been tracking undersea cables that carry the bulk of the world's telecommunications data.

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.

"Today's action also targets the Russian government's underwater capabilities", the Treasury Department said.

Of particular interest are Embedi and ERPScan, who are both well known within the infosec community.

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