Skip to content
Edit post

US, UK sanction Russian FSB agent, accomplice involved in multi-year cyber attacks

by Nate Ostiller December 7, 2023 7:14 PM 2 min read
Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) headquarters in Moscow. (Alex Segre/UCG/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
This audio is created with AI assistance

Support independent journalism in Ukraine. Join us in this fight.

Become a member Support us just once

The U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced sanctions in coordination with the U.K. on Dec. 7 against two Russian nationals for their role in a wide-ranging cyber campaign against the U.S., U.K., and other Western countries.

The two individuals named were Ruslan Peretyatko, an officer with Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB), and Andrey Korinets, an IT worker.

Russia has been repeatedly accused of backing cyber-crime groups in attacks against its rivals. Moscow has also deployed its cyber capabilities against Ukraine, including attacks on government institutions, the defense sector, and energy infrastructure.

OFAC's sanctions came in conjunction with an announcement from the British National Cyber Security Center (NCSC) on Dec. 7 accusing the FSB of a lengthy campaign of cyber attacks against the U.K. dating back at least to 2015 and involving "attempted political interference."

The NCSC identified a group of hackers named Star Blizzard, which it said is "almost certainly subordinate to...(the FSB)."

Star Blizzard's cyber activities included phishing attacks on U.K. lawmakers, leaking of secret U.K.-U.S. trade documents, and hacking into the accounts of institutions and individuals from the U.K.'s civil society.

The U.K. also announced sanctions against Peretyatko and Korinets, which the U.S. joined as a sign of "support" and "solidarity."

The OFAC's description of the cyber actions of the FSB and its affiliates largely mirrored that of the NCSC.

"The FSB’s phishing campaigns have been designed to gain access to targeted email accounts, to maintain persistent access to the accounts and associated networks, and to obtain and potentially exfiltrate sensitive information to advance the Kremlin’s policy goals."

The OFAC added that evidence of FSB-sponsored phishing campaigns against the West can be traced to as early as 2016.

In addition to the sanctions, a federal grand jury in California indicted Peretyatko and Korinets on charges of conspiracy to commit computer fraud against the U.S.

“The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) will not stand idly by as Russia continues to perpetuate this type of targeted malicious activity,” said Assistant Director Bryan Vorndran of the FBI’s Cyber Division. “Russian interference through malign foreign influence campaigns is deplorable, and we will not tolerate it in the United States or directed against our foreign partners."

Ukraine holds back Russian assault on Avdiivka as long winter battle looms
“Our working hours are as follows: first you do a 12-hour shift, then another one, until you’ve done seven of these 24-hour-shifts, and that’s your week” said Oleksandr Kolesnikov, a 47-year-old surgeon, sitting hunched over on a bench-turned-overflow hospital bed at a Ukrainian sta…

News Feed

Ukraine Daily
News from Ukraine in your inbox
Ukraine news
Please, enter correct email address
1:56 AM  (Updated: )

Trump shot at during Pennsylvania rally.

At a rally in Pennsylvania, gunshots were reportedly fired at former U.S. President Donald Trump, prompting security staff to rush him off stage.
MORE NEWS

Editors' Picks

Enter your email to subscribe
Please, enter correct email address
Subscribe
* indicates required
* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required
* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required

Subscribe

* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required

Subscribe

* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required

Subscribe

* indicates required
Successfuly subscribed
Thank you for signing up for this newsletter. We’ve sent you a confirmation email.