US cyber-related sanctions target six Russians, one Ukrainian

The EU and Britain have also issued sanctions against Russia

Cyber hacking (illustrative) (photo credit: INGIMAGE)
Cyber hacking (illustrative)
(photo credit: INGIMAGE)

The Biden administration issued a new batch of Russia-related sanctions over cyber activities, according to a notice posted on the US Department of Treasury website on Thursday.

The sanctions target seven individuals, including six Russians and one Ukrainian, the notice said.

Sanctions against Trickbot

The United States has imposed sanctions against seven leading members of a notorious Russian hacking gang known as Trickbot, the Treasury announced on Friday.

Trickbot's malicious software at one point was counted among one of the internet's most pernicious security threats, capable of stealing financial data, spreading across networks, and dropping ransom software.

The group behind it was seen as particularly ruthless. In its announcement, the Treasury noted that, "during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Trickbot targeted hospitals and healthcare centers, launching a wave of ransomware attacks against hospitals across the United States."

Reuters could not immediately locate contact details for the alleged hackers named by the Treasury.

The Treasury said the sanctions applied to Trickbot's senior figures and managers. Targets of such sanctions are generally barred from holding US assets or transacting with American organizations. However, the measure is often largely symbolic given ransomware operators tend to operate well out of reach of US officialdom.

 Will cyber warfare only get worse after the Ukraine-Russia war has ended? (illustrative) (credit: REUTERS) Will cyber warfare only get worse after the Ukraine-Russia war has ended? (illustrative) (credit: REUTERS)
Other sanctions against Russia

Britain said on Thursday it had sanctioned seven Russian cyber criminals in co-ordinated action with the United States.

"These individuals have been associated with the development or deployment of a range of ransomware strains which have targeted the UK and US," Britain said in a statement.

New European sanctions against Russia will include new export bans worth more than 10 billion euros ($10.7 billion) and will take on Russian president Vladimir Putin's propagandists, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told reporters on Thursday.

"We will target Putin's propagandists because their lies are poisoning the public space in Russia and abroad," von der Leyen said during a joint press conference with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

The new sanctions "will further starve Russia's military machine and shake the foundations of its economy," she added.