Thursday, 23 May, 2019

US sanctions Russians over military, intelligence hacking

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Deanna Wagner | 12 June, 2018, 02:03

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".

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

Steve Mnuchin, the Treasury Secretary, said the United States 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".

The United States has sanctioned three Russian individuals and five entities under an executive order against malicious cyber activities and the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), the US Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) said on its website on Monday.

Another company listed as having an Israeli address, ERPScan, was also added to the Treasury blacklist, which freezes all USA property belonging to the companies and prohibits United States citizens from doing business with them.

The sanctions follow charges filed in February against 13 employees of a Russian troll factory which was accused of attempting to interfere with the 2016 United States presidential election.

Trump and Kim Jong Un Hold Historic Summit in Singapore
A transport plane - one of three aircraft that headed to Singapore - also carried food and Kim's bullet-proof limousine. That would avoid the prospect of Kim winning sanctions relief for gradual progress while remaining a nuclear power.

The US continues to be at odds with Russian Federation over cyberattacks, including the VPNFilter malware that infected more than half a million routers this year.

The designated firms are Digital Security, ERPScan, Embedi, Kvant Scientific Research Institute, Divetechnoservices.

Also sanctioned was a business called Divetechnoservices, which "procured a variety of underwater equipment and diving systems for Russian government agencies" as part of the fibre-optic cable interference programme.

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

And in April, U.S. and British officials accused the Russian government of hacking into routers and other network devices across the globe to conduct espionage and intellectual property theft.The Treasury Department also said that the sanctioned entities are involved in supporting Moscow's efforts to track undersea communication cables, which hold most 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.