United States blacklists Israeli company over Russian Federation intelligence links

United States blacklists Israeli company over Russian Federation intelligence links

The U.S. Department of the Treasury announced today that they have imposed sanctions on five Russian entities and 3 Russian individuals for allegedly being controlled by or aiding Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) in the operation of cyber attacks.

USA treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin announced the sanctions, saying they were to counter "malicious actors" working to "increase Russia's offensive cyber-capabilities".

The sanctions freeze property and assets under USA jurisdiction and seek to lock those named out of global financial networks.

Mnuchin said Russia's "malign" activities included cyber intrusion into the US energy grid and other infrastructure; an internet-chewing worm called Notpetya that cost several global conglomerates millions of dollars in damage; and the tracking of and possible interference with undersea communications cables that carry most of the world's telecommunications data. Treasury said that Russian Federation has been active in tracking undersea communication cables, which carry the bulk of the world's telecommunications data.

The Treasury also targeted the Kvant Scientific Research Institute(Meduza wrote about this organization in our deep dive into Russian cyber-defense) and the company Digital Security, which specializes in information security.

The three individuals named in the new sanctions, Aleksandr Lvovich Tribun, Oleg Sergeyevich Chirikov, and Vladimir Yakovlevich Kaganskiy, were all senior staff at Divetechnoservices. "As of 2015, Digital Security worked on a project that would increase Russia's offensive cyber capabilities for the Russian Intelligence Services", including the FSB, according to the US government.

Today's sanctions by the US Treasury Department come in response to Russian cyberattacks on the US and its allies, including the NotPetya cyberattack. Hacks in the runup to the USA presidential election in 2016 are also linked to Russian Federation.


In 2012, Divetechnoservices says it supplied Canadian "DeepWorker" underwater vehicles to "a Russian state enterprise".

The designations include Digital Security, and two firms that it owns or controls.

According to the newsletter The Bell, Divetechnoservices has won more than 100 military procurement contracts since 2014 worth 3 billion rubles ($47.8 million).

None of the individuals sanctions were publicly identified by the United States as Russian oligarchs close to President Vladimir Putin.

The new sanctions come three days after President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump: "Excitement in the air" ahead of Kim meeting Trump doubles down on criticism of EU, Canada Merkel: EU will retaliate against Trump tariffs MORE enraged USA allies and lawmakers by calling on the Group of Seven (G-7) industrialized nations to reinstate Russian Federation.

"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. ERPScan is a well-known cybersecurity firm with offices in Palo Alto, California.

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