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U.S. hits five Russian firms with sanctions, citing cyberattacks

12 June 2018

The U.S. Treasury imposed sanctions on three Russian individuals and five companies on Monday, saying they had worked with Moscow's military and intelligence services on ways to conduct cyber attacks against the United States and its allies.

"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".

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.

The press release included examples of Russia's malicious cyber activity, which included the NotPetya attack, attacks against US network infrastructure, utilities, and other disruptive cyber-attacks.

The sanctions are also in response to Russia's tracking and potential targeting of undersea communication cables, which carry the bulk of the world's telecommunications data, officials said.

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US and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation military officials have warned in the past of an increase in Russian submarines conducting activity along undersea data cables.

The sanctions freeze property and assets under United States jurisdiction and seek to lock those named out of global financial networks.

"One of the designated entities is controlled by and has provided material and technological support to Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB), while two others have provided the FSB with material and technological support", the statement said. The individuals named on Monday all had ties to Divetechnoservices: Aleksandr Lvovich Tribun, Oleg Sergeyevich Chirikov and Vladimir Yakovlevich Kaganskiy. All of these individuals work for Divetechnoservices.

None of the sanctioned parties were immediately able to respond to Sky News for comment.

"From my opinion it's the only one connection we have with Digital Security".

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"I woke up and was embraced by such news", he said.

The sanctions apply to five companies and three Russians. "It was like a dream to do what you love, like breaking the security of big corporations, and earn money".

It's not clear whether the U.S. government believes Embedi and ERPScan were also involved in that project, and the official notice doesn't accuse them of having done so, noting only that they are subsidiaries of Digital Security. "We will continue helping protect critical SAP and Oracle software from cyberattacks as we did, and it doesn't matter what has happened".

At this time, Bleeping Computer has not heard back from Embedi.

Polyakov Alexander, founder and CTO of ERPScan has been in contact to say he's baffled by the ban and it appears someone in the Treasury Department has goofed.

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U.S. hits five Russian firms with sanctions, citing cyberattacks