Treasury Hits Russian FSB for Underwater Reconnaissance of Internet Cables

An undersea fiber optic cable

An undersea fiber optic cable / Getty Images

 

Moscow plans to attack undersea cables in future conflict

The Treasury Department on Monday announced the imposition of economic sanctions against Russian entities engaged in targeting undersea internet cables and cyber spying inside critical U.S. infrastructures.

The department announced sanctions on five companies and three Russians linked to the Federal Security Service, the main Kremlin intelligence service, known as the FSB, that has been linked to Russian election meddling in 2016.

For the first time, Treasury revealed one of the sanctioned companies, Divetechnoservices, has worked with the FSB since 2007 to spy on underwater cables used to connect the internet around the world.

Russia has been active in tracking undersea communication cables which carry the bulk of the world’s telecommunications data,” the department said in announcing the sanctions. Continue reading

Russian Naval Expansion Threatens U.S. Influence in the Western Hemisphere

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On Wednesday, April 20, 2016, the New York Times reported that the most Russian attack submarines, in two decades, are patrolling the coastlines of “Scandinavia and Scotland, along with the Mediterranean Sea and the North Atlantic.” This increased area of patrols and the Russian’s build up of arms is approaching Cold War levels, and signals the increasingly competitive and uneasy relationship between the U.S. and Russia.

Russia’s activity within the Western Hemisphere has increased since the beginning of he Obama Administration. Russian activity in the Western Hemisphere first began with the sale of military equipment to Venezuela that soon transitioned into the two nations participating in joint naval exercises. It was believed that the Russia decision to launch the exercise came after the U.S. announced it would be reforming the 4th fleet to patrol the Caribbean. Continue reading

U.S. Shadowing Russian Ship in Atlantic Near Nuclear Submarine Areas

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High-tech spy vessel carries cable-cutting gear, mini-subs

U.S. intelligence ships, aircraft, and satellites are closely watching a Russian military vessel in the Atlantic that has been sailing near a U.S. nuclear missile submarine base and underwater transit routes, according to Pentagon officials.

The Russian research ship Yantar has been tracked from the northern Atlantic near Canada since late August as it makes its way south toward Cuba.

Defense officials familiar with reports on the Russian ship say the Yantar is believed to be gathering intelligence on underwater sensors and other equipment used by U.S. nuclear submarines based at Kings Bay, Georgia. The submarines, their transit lanes, and training areas stretch from the coastal base through the Atlantic to Europe.

Intelligence analysts believe the ship, one of Russia’s newest military research vessels commissioned earlier this year, is part of a larger strategic intelligence-gathering operation against U.S. nuclear missile submarines and other targets. Continue reading