The US has slapped sanctions on five Russian companies and three Russian individuals for allegedly aiding Russia's main intelligence agency.
U.S. treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin announced the sanctions, saying they were to counter "malicious actors" working to "increase Russia's offensive cyber-capabilities".
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Digital Security is one of Russia's leading information security consulting companies, and its sole owner, Ilya Medvedovsky, is known as the author of several new ways of attacking network protocols and two books: "Attack on the Internet" and "Attacking Through the Internet".
All three individuals added to the SDN list have been targeted by the USA sanctions due to their links to the Divetechnoservice Company, the Russian diving-equipment producer, according to the Treasury.
"The administration is confronting and countering malign Russian cyberactivity, including their attempted interference in USA elections, destructive cyberattacks, and intrusions targeting critical infrastructure", Mnuchin said.
"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", said Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin.
Three individuals and five Russian businesses have been placed on the sanctions list by the US Treasury for having provided material and technological support to the Federal Security Service (FSB). The US used new legislative authority to impose the sanctions to "counter the constantly evolving threats emanating from Russian Federation".
The Department accuses Russian Federation of cyber intrusions on the US energy grid; as well as targeting undersea communication cables, which carry the bulk of the world's telecommunications data. Digital Security has some major clients, including Yandex, QIWI, Mail.ru Group, Tele2, and SAP.
The Kvant Scientific Research Institute was also included on the blacklist, as a state enterprise supervised by the FSB.
The sanctioned individuals were Vladimir Kagansky, Alexander Tribun and Oleg Chirikov, whom Mnuchin identified as the owner of Divetechnoservices, the company's CEO and a manager at the company, respectively.
In addition, Divetechnoservices and three officials of the firm were sanctioned for supplying and supporting the government's underwater capabilities in monitoring and hacking subsea communications cables around the world.