US designates 5 Russian entities, 3 individuals for sanctions tied to cyber capabilities

The Treasury Department on Monday designated five Russian entities and three Russian individuals for sanctions related to offensive cyber capabilities, the department announced.

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 announcement said.

The department is also designating several entities and individuals for being owned or controlled by, or acting for or on behalf of, the three entities that have enabled the FSB, it said.

The five entities are Digital Security, ERPScan, Embedi, Kvant Scientific Research Institute and Divetechnoservices. The three individuals are Alexsandr Lvovich Tribun, Oleg Sergeyevich Chirikov and Vladimir Yakovlevich Kaganskiy.

“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,” Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said. “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.” “The United States is committed to aggressively targeting any entity or individual working at the direction of the FSB, whose work threatens the United States and will continue to utilize our sanctions authorities … to counter the constantly evolving threats emanating from Russia,” he said.

Examples of Russia’s malign and destabilizing cyber activities include the destructive NotPetya cyber-attack; cyber intrusions against the US energy grid to potentially enable future offensive operations; and global compromises of network infrastructure devices, including routers and switches, also to potentially enable disruptive cyber-attacks, the announcement said. Today’s action also targets the Russian government’s underwater capabilities, it said. Russia has been active in tracking undersea communication cables, which carry the bulk of the world’s telecommunications data, it said. As a result of today’s action, all property and interests in property of the designated persons subject to US jurisdiction are blocked, and US persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them, the statement said

Source: Kuwait News Agency