Biden is battling Russian hacking groups by imposing restrictions on IT firms

Read Time:2 Minute, 5 Second

The US restricted commerce with four information technology firms and two other entities on Friday, blaming the Russian government for “aggressive and damaging” activities, including digital espionage.

The six firms were sanctioned by the US Treasury Department in April, according to a Commerce Department statement, which targeted corporations in the technology sector that support Russian intelligence services.

Due to their inclusion on the Commerce Department’s blacklist, U.S. corporations are unable to sell to them without obtaining permits, which are rarely granted.

The announcement comes after April’s penalties, which were designed at punishing Moscow for hacking, interfering in last year’s US election, poisoning Kremlin opponent Alexei Navalny, and other suspected nefarious activities – all of which the Kremlin denies.

They come as the US responds to a steady stream of cyber attacks blamed on Russian government-backed espionage, as well as a rash of more disruptive ransomware outbreaks blamed on Russian cybercriminals.

Aktsionernoe Obshchaestvo AST; Aktsionernoe Obshchestvo Pasit; Aktsionernoe Obshchestvo Pozitiv Teknolodzhiz, also known as JSC Positive Technologies; Federal State Autonomous Institution Military Innovative Technopolis Era; Federal State Autonomous Institution Scientific Research Institute Specialized Security Computing Devices and Automation.

The Russian Ministry of Defense operates Era, a research center and technology park; Pasit, an IT firm that did research and development in support of Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service’s malicious cyber operations; SVA, a Russian state-owned institution that also supported malicious cyber operations; and Russia-based IT security firms Neobit, AST, and Positive Technologies have clied.

Positive Technologies stated that the Commerce Department’s notice had no new material and that the business engaged in “ethical information exchange with the professional information security community” and had never been involved in an attack on US infrastructure.

The other organizations either did not respond to calls for comment right away or could not be reached.

For months, the limits on the Russian technology industry have been in the works. On the same day as the Treasury sanctions were announced, then-Assistant Attorney General John Demers told reporters that officials were assessing dozens of Russian enterprises for referral to the Commerce Department.

As they assessed whether a company was a concern, Demers said investigators would look for “a known connection between a particular company and Russian intelligence agencies.” He also stated that non-Russian corporations with back office operations in Russia would be investigated.

The US Commerce Department adds businesses to its trade blacklist that it believes pose a threat to US national security or foreign policy objectives.

Source : Reuters


Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.

%d bloggers like this: