Published: Thu, June 14, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

US hits Russian companies with sanctions, citing cyberattacks

US hits Russian companies with sanctions, citing cyberattacks

USA authorities hit three Russians and five companies with new sanctions, targeting a cyberresearch company and one that specializes in providing underwater diving equipment to Russia's lead security agency, the FSB.

"The United States are now conducting activities to counter hostile players, who on the orders of the Russian Federation and its military and intelligence services increase offensive cyberportal Russia".

All three of the individuals blacklisted Monday have alleged ties to Divetechnoservices, which the Treasury Department said provides material and technological support to the FSB in the form of underwater equipment and diving services since 2007.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Russian Sen. Konstantin Kosachev said Washington is revealing that its mechanism for punishing Russia is "out of the control of common sense" and looks "more and more unconvincing and ever more pitiful".

The sanctioned targets are banned from the USA financial system and American citizens and business are prohibited from any transactions with them.

According to the US Treasury, the individuals had been involved in the destructive NotPetya cyber attack which devastated computers in Ukraine and across Europe a year ago.

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Moscow has repeatedly denied any involvement in the U.S. elections, calling them absurd. The US used new legislative authority to impose the sanctions to "counter the constantly evolving threats emanating from Russian Federation".

The sanctions apply to five companies and three Russians. The FSB was also one of several entities sanctioned by former President Barack Obama in December 2016 in response to Russian hacking of Democratic political organizations during the presidential election campaign that year.

Those sanctioned were Digital Security and its subsidiaries ERPScan and Embedi; the Kvant Scientific Research Institute; and Divetechnoservices and three of its executives.

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

"Today's action also targets the Russian government's underwater capabilities", said the Treasury, adding: "Russia has been active in tracking undersea communication cables, which carry the bulk of the world's telecommunications data".

Polyakov has confirmed that he worked for Digital Security and that one of the owners of ERPScan is an owner of Digital Security, but continues to stress that the two companies are not affiliated with each other.

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