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EU adds six persons to sanction list for malicious cyber activities

The Foreign Affairs Council of the European Union has adopted sanctions against six Russian individuals. They were put on a sanction list for implementing cyber activities that have caused severe damage across institutions in EU member states, including banks and the healthcare sector.

For the first time in history the Foreign Affairs Council has taken measures against cybercriminals who launched ransomware and phishing campaigns against organizations in the critical infrastructure.

Two of them are prominent members of the Callisto Group, a group of Russian military intelligence officers that attack EU member states and third countries in order to steal highly sensitive information.

Two other hackers to Foreign Affairs Council has targeted are members of the Armageddon Group, a state-sponsored group that’s supported by the Russian intelligence agency FSB. Members have carried out numerous cyber attacks against governments of EU member states and Ukraine to cripple their capabilities.

Lastly, two Russian citizens were added to the sanction list for their involvement in the development of Conti and Trickbot malware. Allegedly they were part of a Russian hackers collective called Wizard Spider. The group deployed spyware in several critical sectors around Europe, including the financial sector. Therefore Wizard Spider has caused a lot of economical damage in the EU.

The sanction list currently includes fourteen individuals and four entities. People and organizations on the list aren’t allowed to enter the EU. Additionally, all their European assets have been frozen. Lastly, all financial transactions are prohibited, meaning European citizens and companies can’t do business with the people and organizations on the sanction list.

“With these new listings, the EU and its member states reaffirm their willingness to step up efforts to provide a stronger and more sustained response to persistent malicious cyber activities targeting the EU, its member states and partners,” the Foreign Affairs Council says in a statement.

The Council adds that the EU remains committed to a global, open, and secure cyberspace. It also stresses the need for international cooperation.

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