The American government has imposed sanctions on five Russian companies and three Russian individuals for allegedly aiding Russia's main intelligence agency. A spokesman for the US Treasury said the measures were to counter "malicious actors" working to "increase Russia's offensive cyber-capabilities".
The sanctioned entities and individuals are prohibited from any transactions involving the US financial system.
As well as being barred from the US financial system, the measures mean American citizens and companies cannot do business with the Russian entities.
"The entities designated today have directly contributed to improving Russia's cyber and underwater capabilities through their work with the FSB [Federal Security Service] and, therefore, jeopardise the safety and security of the United States and our allies," the spokesman added.
The three people named - Aleksandr Tribun, Oleg Chirikov and Vladimir Kaganskiy - reportedly have ties to Divetechnoservices which allegedly specialises in hacking into undersea communications cables.
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