US issues sanctions against Russians for election meddling and cyberattacks

US issues sanctions against Russians for election meddling and cyberattacks

The US Department of Treasury has issued sanctions against five Russian entities and 19 individuals for their involvement in a number of cyberattacks as well as online efforts for interfering with the US presidential election.

The sanctions will prohibit US companies and individuals from doing business with those named by the Treasury Department. “The Administration is confronting and countering malign Russian cyber activity, including their attempted interference in US elections, destructive cyberattacks and intrusions targeting critical infrastructure,” Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said in a statement. “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 sanctions, informed by our intelligence community, to hold Russian government officials and oligarchs accountable for their destabilizing activities by severing their access to the US financial system.”

If you look at the list, among them is the Internet Research Agency. US officials have said that it played a major role in the Russian campaign for 2016 presidential election interference . The Treasury Department notes IRA’s efforts to create fake online personas and pose as US individuals and organizations, the ads that were bought during the election and the political rallies they organized and coordinated ahead of and following the election. Along with sanctioning the IRA, the Treasury Department sanctioned two additional entities and 13 individuals who assisted the IRA in some form. It doesn’t end there either.

Russian intelligence organization the Federal Security Service has also received sanctions today due to its role in the 2014 Yahoo hack. They used their cyber tools “to target Russian journalists and politicians critical of the Russian government; Russian citizens and government officials; former officials from countries bordering Russia; and U.S. government officials, including cyber security, diplomatic, military and White House personnel.” The Main Intelligence Directorate, a Russian military intelligence organization, has also received sanctions for involvement in the NotPetya cyberattack that brought harm to businesses, hospitals and government agencies in Asia, Europe and the US earlier this year. Six individuals also received sanctions that acted on behalf of Main Intelligence Directorate.

Hamza Khalid

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