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Thursday, March 15, 2018
U.S. Sanctions Russian Cyber Actors for Cyber-Attacks


Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) instituted a new set of sanctions against five entities and 19 individuals tied to Russian hacking and influence operations.

"The Administration is confronting and countering malign Russian cyber activity, including their attempted interference in U.S. elections, destructive cyber-attacks, and intrusions targeting critical infrastructure," said Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin. "These targeted sanctions are a part of a broader effort to address the ongoing nefarious attacks emanating from Russia. Treasury intends to impose additional CAATSA (Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act) sanctions, informed by our intelligence community, to hold Russian government officials and oligarchs accountable for their destabilizing activities by severing their access to the U.S. financial system."

According to the U.S. gonvernment, the action counters Russia's "destabilizing" activities, ranging from interference in the 2016 U.S. election to conducting destructive cyber-attacks, including the NotPetya attack, a cyber-attack attributed to the Russian military on February 15, 2018 in statements released by the White House and the British Government. This cyber-attack resulted in billions of dollars in damage across Europe, Asia, and the United States, and disrupted global shipping, trade, and the production of medicines. Additionally, several hospitals in the United States were unable to create electronic records for more than a week.

The U.S. authorities says that since at least March 2016, Russian government cyber actors have also targeted U.S. government entities and multiple U.S. critical infrastructure sectors, including the energy, nuclear, commercial facilities, water, aviation, and critical manufacturing sectors. Indicators of compromise, and technical details on the tactics, techniques, and procedures, have been provided in the recent technical alert issued by the Department of Homeland Security and Federal Bureau of Investigation.

In addition to countering Russia's malign cyber activity, Treasury continues to pressure Russia for its ongoing efforts to destabilize Ukraine, occupy Crimea, meddle in elections, as well as for its endemic corruption and human rights abuses. To date, this Administration has sanctioned more than 100 individuals and entities under our Ukraine and Russia-related sanctions authorities, including 21 individuals, nine entities, and 12 subsidiaries that are owned 50 percent or more by previously sanctioned Russian companies on January 26, 2018.



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