Treasury slaps sanctions on firms aiding Russian Federation security service

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin testifies before a Senate Appropriations Committee for Financial Services hearing on the proposed FY2019 budget for the Treasury Department in Washington DC

The blacklisting means any property or assets that the targeted people and companies have in USA jurisdiction will be frozen, and US citizens may not do business with them.

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).

USA officials said Divetechnoservies procured underwater equipment and diving systems for Russian government agencies.

It also said that Russian Federation had been tracking undersea cables that carry the bulk of the world's telecommunications data.

The entities sanctioned by the US are Digital Security, and their subsidiaries ERPScan and Embedi, and Kvant Scientific Research Institute (Kvant) and Divetechnoservices.

The three sanctioned businessmen are Aleksandr Lvovich Tribun, Oleg Sergeyevich Chirikov, and Vladimir Yakovlevich Kaganskiy; all of whom work for Divetechnoservices.

The move, announced on June 11 by the U.S. Treasury Department, is the latest effort by Washington to use financial restrictions to target Russians for hacking, human rights violations, the ongoing conflict in Ukraine's east, and other actions. He said the sanctions targeted entities that have "directly contributed to improving Russia's cyber and underwater capabilities" that jeopardize "the safety and security of the United States and our allies".

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No mention of Russian attacks on USA elections was mentioned in the press release.

Mnuchin said the U.S.is committed to "aggressively targeting" anyone aiding the FSB, saying the US would do so under the 2017 sanctions law, known as the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).

Divetechnoservices' offerings include the design, manufacture and supply of professional diving equipment, wrecking and underwater work, according to its website.

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". 13694, as amended, for being owned or controlled by Digital Security.

The Treasury Department is sanctioning Digital Security, ERPScan and Embedi, three cybersecurity companies.

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.

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