U.S. sanctions against Russian cybersecurity companies

I never thought that I will write here about state sanctions. Usually I try to ignore political topics. But now it’s necessary. Yesterday OFAC introduced sanctions against 5 Russian companies.

Treasury Sanctions Russian Federal Security Service Enablers

I would like to mention 3 of them:

Why these companies were affected?

OFAC wrote in their press release that ERPScan and Embedi are linked to Digital Security, and Digital Security in 2015 “worked on a project that would increase Russia’s offensive cyber capabilities”.

Designated Entities and Individuals

It is unclear what they meant by all this. But for now it seems that ANY Russian government contractor can get under sanctions and their business in U.S. jurisdiction will be destroyed:

“As a result of today’s action, all property and interests in property of the designated persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction are blocked, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them.”

Despite the fact that FSB is the heir of the KGB, it is also one of the most important security regulators in Russia. It is very difficult not to be linked with them at least from the point of view of licenses and certificates. Here is, for example, a list of CISCO products certified by FSB. 🙂

The press release itself is hilarious. OFAC mentioned “NotPetya cyber-attack”, from which many Russian companies also have suffered (see “Petya the Great and why *they* don’t patch vulnerabilities“). I will not talk about “sophisticated” attack attribution methods by ip addresses and by Russian words in the code. Just do not forget who have NOT reported vulnerability MS17-010 to MS, who created and secretly used EternalBlue exploit. 😉

And on whom U.S. imposed the sanctions? On Fancy Bear? These sanctions against white-hats will only help state-sponsored hackers (if they even exist, I do not believe in this conspiracy). There will be more highly qualified specialists on the market who can’t earn money in a civilized manner.

Personally, I do not see any particular reasons why U.S. officials chose DSec. Maybe they have their own reasons. Currently it seems that they just going to bury ALL noticeable Cyber Security businesses with Russian roots in alphabetical order, starting from the letter D.

I wish the best to the affected colleagues. I hope this nonsense will end soon.

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