US Slaps More Sanctions on Russians Over Hacking

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The Treasury Department on Monday sanctioned five Russian entities and three Russian individuals for helping Russia build up its offensive hacking prowess, targeting them as part of a continuing effort to deter Moscow's aggression in cyberspace, US officials said.

The department said the sanctions were a response to a number of cyberattacks, including last year's NotPetya attack, as well as intrusions into the USA energy grid and global network infrastructure.

"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", Mnuchin said.

It's not clear whether the U.S. government believes Embedi and ERPScan were also involved in that project, and the official notice doesn't accuse them of having done so, noting only that they are subsidiaries of Digital Security.

This story is breaking and will be updated. Washington sanctioned the company's supposed owner, Vladimir Kagansky, and its supposed general director and manager, Aleksandr Tribun and Oleg Chirikov.

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

The move is in response to alleged Russian cyber-attacks on the US.

The United States imposed new sanctions against Russian companies and individuals in connection with the "cyber threat from organizations working at the direction of Moscow".

The companies and individuals sanctioned are banned from the US financial system, according to The Hill.

Mr Mnuchin said Digital Security provided material and support to Russia's Federal Security Services (FSB), and that Divetechnoservices supplied underwater equipment and diving systems, including a submarine, for Russian government agencies.

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In addition to being barred from the U.S. financial system, the measures mean American citizens and companies can not do business with the Russian entities.

Of particular interest are Embedi and ERPScan, who are both well known within the infosec community.

"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.

"I woke up and was embraced by such news", he said.

According to an interview with the Infosec Institue, Polyakov mentions that he had previously worked at a company named Digital Security where only the best hackers from their city were employed.

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Polyakov Alexander, founder and CTO of ERPScan has been in contact to say he's baffled by the ban and it appears someone in the Treasury Department has goofed. "We are a software company focused on helping to protect ERP systems".

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