Firms Aiding Russian Intel Cyberattacks Sanctioned by US Treasury

National flags of Russia and the U.S. fly at Vnukovo International Airport in Moscow Russia

The U.S. Treasury imposed sanctions on three Russian individuals and five companies on Monday, saying they had worked with Moscow's military and intelligence services on ways to conduct cyber attacks against the United States and its allies.

"The United States is making efforts to counter malicious organizations that work at the direction of the Russian authorities, the Russian military and its intelligence to increase offensive abilities in cybersphere",- said the Minister.

As previously reported "FACTS", the US Treasury chose to impose sanctions against three Russian citizens and five companies of the country.

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

Also sanctioned was a business called Divetechnoservices, which "procured a variety of underwater equipment and diving systems for Russian government agencies" as part of the fibre-optic cable interference programme. The author has made every effort to ensure accuracy of information provided; however, neither Kitco Metals Inc. nor the author can guarantee such accuracy.

The Treasury Department said Digital Security had provided material and technological support to Russia's Federal Security Services, or FSB.

The Treasury notice drew attention to recent Russian attempts to destabilize its geopolitical rivals in the West including the NotPetya ransomware campaign, attacks on the USA energy grid and the VPNFilter campaign to compromise network devices around the world.

Even as officials in the United States and European countries cite Russian Federation for interference in their elections and its annexation of Crimea, insisting it remain expelled from the G7 until it returns the territory to Ukraine, Trump has repeatedly stressed the need for stronger relations with Moscow. ERPScan is a well-known cybersecurity firm with offices in Palo Alto, California.

In 2012, Divetechnoservices says it supplied Canadian "DeepWorker" underwater vehicles to "a Russian state enterprise". The last company was working on a $1.5-million "submersible craft" for the FSB.

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

Neither Divetechnoservice nor the Kvant Institute responded immediately to e-mails seeking comment.

Updated An expansion of sanctions on companies connected with Russian government cyberattacks has pulled in two U.S. tech companies.

Several Russian companies have also been caught up in an investigation by U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller, looking into interactions between associates of President Donald Trump and Russian officials.

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