US sanctions Chinese individuals, Thai companies for bomb threats, COVID fraud

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The US Treasury on Tuesday sanctioned three Chinese individuals and three Thai companies for involvement in a cyber crime network that it said made bomb threats and fraudulent applications for COVID-related aid, costing the government billions of dollars.

The individuals and the Thai-based companies were sanctioned for activities related to 911 S5 botnet, a service that compromised computers and resulted in cyber crimes being traced back to victims’ computers instead of the perpetrators’ devices, the Treasury said.

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“These individuals leveraged their malicious botnet technology to compromise personal devices, enabling cyber criminals to fraudulently secure economic assistance intended for those in need and to terrorize our citizens with bomb threats,” said the Treasury under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, Brian Nelson.

The IP addresses compromised were linked to a number of bomb threats made across the United States in July 2022, according to the release.

Reuters was not immediately able to seek comment from the sanctioned entities or individuals.

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