Russian Cybersecurity Firms Added To Trade Blacklist
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Russian cybersecurity firms added to trade blacklist by the US Commerce Department over alleged links with spy services amidst a series of disruptive attacks.

According to the US Commerce Department, four information technology firms and two other entities will be restricted from trade over “aggressive and harmful” activities, including digital espionage.

Russia has denied such allegations, though the US holds the Russian government responsible for the activities.

The Commerce Department said, earlier in April the US Treasury Department, had sanctioned these six organizations in an effort to curtail tech companies that supported the Russian intelligence services.

The sanctions imposed in April were as a punishment for Russian hacking activities, as these firms were not allowed to sell without a license and such licenses were rarely being granted.

US authorities discovered Russia’s hand in various activities such as the poisoning of dissident Alexei Navalny and other activities, which the Russians have denied.

Recent incidents such as the hack of IT firm SolarWinds, Florida-based IT Firm Kaseya all pointed fingers towards ransom gangs in Russia.

The US Commerce Department has also blacklisted Russia-based IT security firms AST, Neobit, and Positive Technologies, which have clients including the Russian government.

John Demers, Assistant Attorney General, about the April sanctions said investigators were looking at “a known connection between a particular company and the Russian intelligence services”.

He further added Non-Russian companies with operations in Russia were also being examined.

Earlier last week the US said it will offer a reward of up to $10 million (£7m) for information on those engaging in cyber-attacks on US critical infrastructure.

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