United States blacklists Russian firms tied to FSB hacking ops

Open source

"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.

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".

The sanctions apply to five companies and three Russians. Much of it is redacted The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by PhRMA - Primary results give both parties hopes for November MORE said in a statement Monday that the targets of the new sanctions helped FSB improve its cyber and underwater operations "and therefore jeopardize the safety and security of the United States and our allies".

The sanctions mean that all of the property and interests in property held by the individuals and the businesses will be blocked, and people in the U.S. will be prohibited from engaging in transactions with them.

The sanctions were imposed under an Obama-era executive order creating a tool to impose sanctions for malicious cyber activity, and under a law Congress passed last August, the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, to levy new sanctions on Russia, Iran and North Korea.

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.

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

According to the Treasury Department, "Russia has been active in tracking undersea communication cables" which carry global telecommunications data.

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

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

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

Embedi has found a lot of vulnerabilities in products from Microsoft, Intel and Cisco among others - but has disclosed them in the same way any other security research company does. 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. "ERPScan is a private company registered in 2014 in the Netherlands and are not a subsidiary of any company listed in this document". "We are a software company focused on helping to protect ERP systems".

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