Washington sanctions Russians for election meddling, cyberattacks
Thursday, March 15, 2018 at 11:28AM
Richard L. Cassin in OFAC, Russia, Sanctions, Steve Mnuchin, Treasury Department

The Trump administration Thursday sanctioned five entities and 19 individuals for meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential elections and for cyberattacks.

Among the entities sanctioned are Russian intelligence agencies, including the Federal Security Service, blamed for the 2014 hacking of Yahoo.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Thursday, “The Administration is confronting and countering malign Russian cyber activity, including their attempted interference in U.S. elections, destructive cyberattacks, and intrusions targeting critical infrastructure.”

The sanctions block all U.S. property and interests in property of those designated, and U.S. persons can't do business with them.

The Treasury Department said the Russian cyberattacks included NotPetya, attributed last month by U.S. and UK authorities to the Russian military.

"This cyberattack was the most destructive and costly cyberattack in history," the Treasury Department said Thursday.

"The attack resulted in billions of dollars in damage across Europe, Asia, and the United States, and significantly disrupted global shipping, trade, and the production of medicines." 

The NotPetya attack blocked some hospitals in the United States from creating electronic records for more than a week, Treasury said.

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Here are the entities and individuals sanctioned Thursday, with Treasury's comments about them:

The Internet Research Agency LLC (IRA) tampered with, altered, or caused a misappropriation of information with the purpose or effect of interfering with or undermining election processes and institutions. Specifically, the IRA tampered with or altered information in order to interfere with the 2016 U.S. election. The IRA created and managed a vast number of fake online personas that posed as legitimate U.S. persons to include grassroots organizations, interest groups, and a state political party on social media. Through this activity, the IRA posted thousands of ads that reached millions of people online. The IRA also organized and coordinated political rallies during the run-up to the 2016 election, all while hiding its Russian identity. Further, the IRA unlawfully utilized personally identifiable information from U.S. persons to open financial accounts to help fund IRA operations.

Yevgeniy Viktorovich Prigozhin provided material assistance to the IRA.  Specifically, Prigozhin funded the operations of the IRA. OFAC previously designated Prigozhin under E.O. (Executive Order) 13661, “Blocking Property of Additional Persons Contributing to the Situation in Ukraine,” on December 20, 2016.

Concord Management and Consulting LLC provided material assistance to the IRA. Concord Management and Consulting LLC, which is controlled by Prigozhin, provided funding to the IRA. Concord Management and Consulting LLC was previously designated under E.O. 13661 on June 20, 2017.

Concord Catering provided material assistance to the IRA. Concord Catering, which is controlled by Prigozhin, provided funding to the IRA. OFAC previously designated Concord Catering under E.O. 13661 on June 20, 2017.

Dzheykhun Nasimi Ogly Aslanov acted for or on behalf of and provided material and technological support to the IRA. Aslanov acted as the head of the translator project, a department which focused on the United States and conducted operations on multiple social media platforms. He also oversaw many of the operations that targeted the 2016 U.S. election.

Anna Vladislavovna Bogacheva acted for or on behalf of and provided material and technological support to the IRA. Bogacheva worked for the IRA from at least April 2014 to July 2014. She worked on the translator project.

Maria Anatolyevna Bovda acted for or on behalf of and provided material and technological support to the IRA.  Bovda worked for the IRA from at least November 2013 to October 2014. She served as the head of the translator project and held other positions within the firm.

Robert Sergeyevich Bovda acted for or on behalf of and provided material and technological support to the IRA.  Bovda worked for the IRA from at least November 2013 to October 2014. He served as the deputy head of the translator project and held other positions within the firm.

Mikhail Leonidovich Burchik acted for or on behalf of and provided material and technological support to the IRA. Burchik acted as the executive director of the IRA and held the firm’s second-highest ranking position.  He was involved in operational planning, infrastructure, and personnel throughout the firm’s operations to interfere in the U.S. political system.

Mikhail Ivanovich Bystrov acted for or on behalf of and provided material and technological support to the IRA. Bystrov acted as the general director of the IRA and served as the head of other entities used by the firm to mask its operations.

Irina Viktorovna Kaverzina acted for or on behalf of and provided material and technological support to the IRA. Kaverzina worked for the translator project and operated multiple U.S. personas that she used to post, monitor, and update social media content for the IRA.

Aleksandra Yuryevna Krylova acted for or on behalf of and provided material and technological support to the IRA. Krylova worked for the IRA from at least September 2013 to November 2014, where she served as a director and was the firm’s third-highest ranking position.

Vadim Vladimirovich Podkopaev acted for or on behalf of and provided material and technological support to the IRA. Podkopaev was responsible for conducting U.S.-focused research and drafting social media content for the IRA.

Sergey Pavlovich Polozov acted for or on behalf of and provided material and technological support to the IRA.  Polozov acted as the manager of the IRA’s information technology department and oversaw the procurement of U.S. servers and other computer infrastructure that masked the firm’s location when conducting operations within the United States.

Gleb Igorevich Vasilchenko acted for or on behalf of and provided material and technological support to the IRA. Vasilchenko worked for the IRA from at least August 2014 to September 2016, and was responsible for controlling social media content and posing as U.S. persons or U.S. grassroots organizations.

Vladimir Venkov acted for or on behalf of and provided material and technological support to the IRA. Venkov worked for the translator project and operated multiple U.S. personas that were used to post, monitor, and update social media content for the IRA.

(The entities and individuals above were named in a DOJ indictment (pdf) filed February 16, 2018 by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.)

Federal Security Service (FSB), a Russian intelligence organization, knowingly engages in significant activities that undermine cybersecurity on behalf of the Russian government. Specifically, the FSB has utilized its 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. Additionally, in 2017, the U.S. Department of Justice indicted two FSB officers for their involvement in the 2014 hacking of Yahoo that compromised millions of Yahoo accounts. OFAC previously sanctioned the FSB under E.O. 13694, as amended, on December 28, 2016.

Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU), a Russian military intelligence organization, knowingly engages in significant activities that undermine cybersecurity on behalf of the Russian government. The GRU was directly involved in interfering in the 2016 U.S. election through cyber-enabled activities. The Russian military, of which the GRU is a part, was also directly responsible for the NotPetya cyberattack in 2017. OFAC previously sanctioned the GRU under E.O. 13694, as amended, on December 28, 2016.

Sergei Afanasyev acts for or on behalf of the GRU. As of February 2017, Afanasyev was a senior GRU official.

Vladimir Alexseyev acts for or on behalf of the GRU. As of December 2016, Alexseyev was a First Deputy Chief of the GRU.  OFAC previously sanctioned Alexseyev under E.O. 13694, as amended, on December 28, 2016.

Sergey Gizunov acts for or on behalf of the GRU. As of July 2017, Gizunov was the Deputy Chief of the GRU.  OFAC previously sanctioned Gizunov under E.O. 13694, as amended, on December 28, 2016.

Igor Korobov acts for or on behalf of the GRU. As of January 2018, Korobov was the Chief of the GRU.  OFAC previously sanctioned Korobov under E.O. 13694, as amended, on December 28, 2016.

Igor Kostyukov acts for or on behalf of the GRU. As of December 2016, Kostukov was a First Deputy Chief of the GRU. OFAC previously sanctioned Kostyukov under E.O. 13694, as amended, on December 28, 2016.

Grigoriy Molchanov acts for or on behalf of the GRU. As of April 2016, Molchanov was a senior GRU official.

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OFAC's March 15, 2018 update to its sanctions list is here.

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Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog.

Article originally appeared on The FCPA Blog (https://www.fcpablog.com/).
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