Saturday, 23 June, 2018

US sanctions Russians over military, intelligence hacking

Trump imposes new sanctions over Russian cyberattacks Modal Trigger Getty Images
Kenny Thornton | 14 June, 2018, 07:24

USA authorities hit three Russians and five companies with new sanctions, targeting a cyberresearch company and one that specializes in providing underwater diving equipment to Russia's lead security agency, the FSB.

"The entities designated today have directly contributed to improving Russia's cyber and underwater capabilities through their work with the FSB and therefore jeopardize the safety and security of the United States and our allies", Steven Mnuchin, Treasury Secretary, said.

The sanctions issued by the US Treasury department freeze any properties the Russian entities own in US jurisdiction and prohibit American citizens from doing business with them.

The Treasury Department said it was imposing sanctions on five Russian firms and three of their executives under legislation passed a year ago and an executive order aimed at punishing efforts to hack into US computer systems. Divetechnoservices, one of the sanctioned firms, was awarded a contract to procure a submarine for the FSB, according to Treasury. These sanctions also target Russia's tracking of underwater communications in order to eavesdrop on world wide communications. The author has made every effort to ensure accuracy of information provided; however, neither Kitco Metals Inc. nor the author can guarantee such accuracy.

The US Treasury named Digital Security and two subsidiaries as helping develop offensive cyber capabilities for Russian intelligence services, including the already-sanctioned FSB. The U.S. agency did provide details of what the companies did to bolster the FSB's offensive cyber capabilities, but identified them as a threat to U.S. security nonetheless.

George and Charlotte goof off at William's polo match
But the prince and princess were clearly having far too much fun to actually sit down and watch the match. My American side here, biased maybe because of everyday #gunviolence in US , but my British side agrees.

USA officials announced new sanctions Monday to punish Russian entities and individuals over cyberattacks launched over the past year.

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). All of these individuals work for Divetechnoservices. According to the Treasury Digital Security, its alleged affiliates Embedi and ERPESCAN and the Kvant Scientific Research Institute all have links to the FSB.

Polyakov states that regardless of this news, they will continue changing "the world by making it better and more secure". Digital Security has some major clients, including Yandex, QIWI, Mail.ru Group, Tele2, and SAP.

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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