Tuesday, 18 December, 2018

US sanctions Russians over military, intelligence hacking

US sanctions Russians over military, intelligence hacking US sanctions Russians over military, intelligence hacking
Steven Clarke | 12 June, 2018, 02:01

"The United States is engaged in an ongoing effort to counter malicious actors working at the behest of the Russian Federation and its military and intelligence units to increase Russia's offensive cyber capabilities", Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.

Today's sanctions are in addition to those slapped on Russian individuals and companies by the Trump administration earlier this year in March.

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

The FSB, or Russia's Federal Security Service, is the successor to the KGB and is believed to carry out numerous government's cyberattacks.

Steve Mnuchin, the Treasury Secretary, said the USA was "engaged in an ongoing effort to counter malicious actors working at the behest of the Russian Federation and its military and intelligence units to increase Russia's offensive cyber capabilities".

In addition to being barred from the USA financial system, the measures mean American citizens and companies can not do business with the Russian entities.

The move is in response to alleged Russian cyber-attacks on the US. The Obama administration sanctioned Russia's FSB in December 2016, citing the Russian government's aggressive harassment of US officials and cyber operations aimed at the 2016 presidential election.

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

The US Treasury Department has imposed fresh sanctions on five Russian entities and three individuals, including a firm that's controlled by Russia's Federal Security Service.

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

They include Digital Security, ERPScan and Embedi.

"Today's action also targets the Russian government's underwater capabilities", said the Treasury, adding: "Russia has been active in tracking undersea communication cables, which carry the bulk of the world's telecommunications data". Hacks in the runup to the U.S. presidential election in 2016 are also linked to Russian Federation.

Three top Divetechnoservices executives-Aleksandr Lvovich Tribun, Oleg Sergeyevich Chirikov and Vladimir Yakovlevich Kaganskiy-were also targeted by OFAC on Monday.

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