U.S. hits Russian firms, citizens with new sanctions for cyberattacks

U.S. hits Russian firms, citizens with new sanctions for cyberattacks

June 11 (UPI) — U.S. officials announced new sanctions Monday to punish Russian entities and individuals over cyberattacks launched over the past year.

The U.S. Treasury targeted five Russian organizations and three citizens, saying they helped Moscow’s Federal Security Service in “malign and destabilizing cyber activities.” The move is the latest step in combating cyberattacks from Russia — including last year’s NotPetya attack.

“The entities designated today have directly contributed to improving Russia’s cyber and underwater capabilities … and therefore jeopardize the safety and security of the United States and our allies,” Treasury Secretary Steven 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.”

The sanctions also target the Kvant Scientific Research Institute, which the Treasury said is owned or controlled by Russian security service and Divetechnoservices.

U.S. officials said Divetechnoservies procured underwater equipment and diving systems for Russian government agencies. Aleksandr Lvovich Tribun, Oleg Sergeyevich Chirikov and Vladimir Yakovlevich Kaganskiy — all executives for Divetechnoservices — are the three individuals sanctioned.

“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,” Mnuchin added.

Britain and the United States have blamed Russia for the NotPetya ransomware attack last year that targeted government and private corporate servers worldwide and demanded a $300 ransom.