The US and Russian people are charged with conspiring to violate sanctions by selling equipment to the Russians
Accretion of Advanced Semiconductors to Russia and its Military Applications: A US Attorney’s Office Detects Two Permanent Residents of the United States
Starting in at least 2017, the indictment says, the defendants used a global network of shell companies and bank accounts to acquire and ship advanced electronics and equipment to Russia that can be used for “quantum computing, hypersonic and nuclear weapons development and other military and space-based military applications.”
According to the federal indictment, the defendants acted on behalf of two Moscow companies that were directed by Russia’s intelligence services.
Among those items, according to the indictment, were a “chip set” of 45 advanced semiconductors; a $45,000 “low noise cesium frequency synthesizer”; high-quality spectrum analyzers used in electronic testing; and pricey oscilloscopes and signal generators. Many dual-use devices can be used for military and civilian purposes.
The United States imposed sanctions against the defendants after Russia invaded Ukraine, but the illegal activities continued.
The US attorney in the New York area said Tuesday that the defendants had illegally obtained sensitive U.S. technology to facilitate the Russian war machine. “Our Office will not rest in its vigorous pursuit of persons who unlawfully procure U.S. technology to be used in furtherance of Russia’s brutal war on democracy.”
Brayman, a permanent resident of the US, is one of the fugitives, according to the Justice Department.
The defendants face various conspiracy, fraud and money laundering counts, and could be sentenced to up to 30 years in prison apiece if convicted of the most serious charges. Some of them are still at large.
Mr. Yermolenko, an American citizen, and Mr. Brayman, a permanent U.S. resident identified in court filings as an Israeli citizen, were arraigned on Tuesday.
Brayman has not been convicted of anything at this point, his attorney told CNN. “Like all defendants, Mr. Brayman is entitled to the presumption of innocence.”
Mr. Yermolenko was released after posting a $500,000 bond partially secured by his house. Nora Hirozawa, a lawyer for Mr. Yermolenko at his arraignment, declined to comment.
FSB Sergey Konoschenok in Estonia, and a Russian Cybercriminal Charged with Selling a Computer Hack Tool to the USA
According to prosecutors, Mr. Konoschenok, an officer in the Federal Security Service of Russia, has been arrested in Estonia and is waiting to be extradited to the US. Estonian authorities found 375 pounds of U.S.-made ammunition in a search of a warehouse he has used, the Justice Department said.
According to the indictment, Russian nationals Grinin and Skvortsova would receive requests from Ippolitov, also a Russian national, for sanctioned items from the US.
Based in the US, Brayman and Yermolenko would allegedly “fabricate shipping documents and invoices” to ship items around the world before they would eventually be sent to Russia, according to the DOJ.
A Russian man accused of creating and selling a hacking tool that was used for tens of thousands of computers worldwide was arrested and extradited to the US, according to the Justice Department.
According to prosecutors, the man is accused of advertising access to more than 35,000 computers and earning more than $350,000 in illegal sales.
Pankov’s arrest is the latest move by US law enforcement agencies to try to nab accused Russian cybercriminals who venture outside of Russia. The US and Russia have had differing views on how to respond to criminal hacker, but the invasion of Ukraine has soured hopes of a bilateral rapprochement.
He was booked on Monday at the Pinellas County Jail outside of Clearwater, where he is being held. Amanda Sinni, a spokesperson for the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, told CNN.
Igor Litvak, a Brooklyn based lawyer listed as representing Pankov in court records, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Wednesday night.
Comments on the hacking tool Pankov has allegedly developed – CrowdStrike’s vice president of intelligence says it has not been used by cyber criminals since 2001
The hacking tool that Pankov is accused of developing – known as “NLBrute” – used a common technique for cracking passwords by flooding a computer with password guesses.
CrowdStrike’s senior vice president of intelligence says that NLBrute has been used by numerous groups of cyber criminals.