Trump Administration Imposes Fresh Sanctions on Russia Over NotPetya & Router Attacks
The United States government has imposed more sanctions on Russian companies and individuals for engaging in cyberattacks and helping Russia with malicious activities. Today's sanctions are in addition to those slapped on Russian individuals and companies by the Trump administration earlier this year in March.
The US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is imposing sanctions on five Russian firms and three of their executives, including Digital Security, ERPScan, Embedi, Kvant Scientific Research Institute, and Divetechnoservices. The official statement said that these designated entities have provided material and technological support to Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB).
The Treasury Secretary Steven T Mnuchin said in a statement:
"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."
NotPetya, router attacks, and intrusions against the US energy grid have been given as a reason behind these sanctions on Russia
Today's sanctions by the US Treasury Department come in response to Russian cyberattacks on the US and its allies, including the NotPetya cyberattack. The "allies" had issued a series of announcements and warnings in February attributing the ransomware campaign to the Kremlin.
While the Trump administration has time and again vocally supported the Russian government, including recently advocating for its inclusion in the G7, President Donald Trump did sign on a new Russian sanctions bill last summer.
"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 and will continue to utilize our sanctions authorities, including those provided under CAATSA, to counter the constantly evolving threats emanating from Russia," the Treasury Secretary said today.
CAATSA that is being referred by the Treasury Department is the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act that was signed into law by President Trump last year. While at the time the President had called this legislation "seriously flawed," it has been used by the Trump administration to impose sanctions on Russia, Iran, and North Korea.
These sanctions freeze assets of the targeted businesses and individuals that they may have in the country and also prohibit Americans from engaging in transactions with these designated organizations and individuals.
Russia has continued to deny all such attributions made by the US and its allies.