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'Another propaganda attack’: Russian Foreign Ministry hits back over US ‘Evil Corp’ claims

'Another propaganda attack’: Russian Foreign Ministry hits back over US ‘Evil Corp’ claims
Moscow has condemned the ‘obviously politicized’ US sanctions on Russian nationals allegedly behind the ‘Evil Corp’ malware operation, with the Foreign Ministry calling the accusations unfounded and promising to retaliate.

Eleven Russian individuals and six companies were sanctioned by the US on Tuesday for “links” to the so-called ‘Evil Corp,’ an alleged cyber crime syndicate that the US Department of Justice accused of stealing more than $100 million from Western institutions over the past decade.

Though the DOJ said it had received assistance from the Russian Federation authorities, the Russian Foreign Ministry on Friday said that nothing of the sort had happened.

Also on rt.com Phishing thieves or yet another phantom menace? US goes after ‘Russian-based Evil Corp’

“If the United States had actual evidence, they would have asked the relevant Russian authorities to conduct a probe,” based on the 1999 mutual assistance treaty,” the ministry said in a statement. “As far as we know, no such requests have been received.” 

Furthermore, the US unilaterally ended cybersecurity cooperation with Russia in 2014, and has refused to resume it since, the ministry added. While Washington constantly accuses Russia of “hacking,” including the 2016 US presidential election, it refuses to present any proof of those claims, because the US “simply has no evidence that would not be embarrassing to put on the table in front of specialists.”

The goal of those imposing the sanctions is “not to fight crime, but the next propaganda attack against Russia,” the ministry added, promising unspecified retaliation against the US. 

Just as with the previous American attacks, these too won't remain without a response.

The US DOJ has offered a $5 million bounty for the arrest of Maksim Yakubets, the alleged leader of ‘Evil Corp.’ In blacklisting Yakubets and people “linked” to him under a 2017 sanctions law designed to target Russia, the US Treasury Department said he was involved with the Russian intelligence service, even though the DOJ made no such claim.

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