US sanctions Russian firms and individuals for underwater cyberattacks

Clay Curtis
June 14, 2018

The U.S. authorities included three Russian citizens and five companies related to Russian Federation in the sanctions list, as the document of the U.S. Department of Treasury, published on the website of the service, says. One of these companies, the St. -Petersburg-based "Divetechnoservices", allegedly "has procured a variety of underwater equipment and diving systems for Russian government agencies", including the FSB.

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

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 USA will be prohibited from engaging in transactions with them.

"The administration is confronting and countering malign Russian cyberactivity, including their attempted interference in USA elections, destructive cyberattacks, and intrusions targeting critical infrastructure", Mnuchin said.

The Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control sanctioned Digital Security, a Russian cyber firm, and two of its subsidiaries for working on an unspecified project to "increase Russia's offensive cyber capabilities".

Moscow has repeatedly maintained that it is not involved in any malicious cyber-activities, especially on United States territory, according to RT.

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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).

ERPScan and Embedi didn't respond to a request for comment. 13694, as amended, and Section 224 of CAATSA for being owned or controlled by the FSB, as well as Divetechnoservices for providing material and technological support to the FSB.

According to the US government: "Russia has been active in tracking undersea communication cables, which carry the bulk of the world's telecommunications data".

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".

The individuals facing sanctions are Divetechnoservices owner Vladimir Kaganskiy, its general director, Aleksandr Tribun, and its program manager, Oleg Chirikov.

"Some of our research team were former members of Digital Security", Donald Anderson, the company's head of marketing, told i24NEWS when reached by phone.

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