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OFAC Russian Sanctions Tracker: List of Mobile Apps and Websites Registered to Sanctioned Entities (updated June 2022)

Jun 21, 2022 4:45:00 AM

In the light of Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, Pixalate is continually searching for mobile apps and website domains for which title and/or developer name matches entities that have been added to the most recent US-OFAC sanctions lists.

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NEW UPDATE

June 2, 2022

From the U.S. Department of Treasury: “The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is taking further action to degrade the key networks used by Russia’s elites.  The U.S. Department of State  imposed sanctions on five of Russia’s oligarchs and elites, including Maria Zakharova, the spokesperson of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Alexey Mordashov, the leader of Severgroup and one of Russia’s wealthiest billionaires; and family members and entities associated with the oligarchs and elites. The U.S. Department of Commerce is adding 71 additional parties located in Russia and Belarus to the Entity List.”

According to Pixalate’s data, we have found the following

  • 5 delisted apps from developer NordGold with the associated website nordgold.com, which is the official website of one of the largest gold mining companies in Russia. Although they are not available in the app store on the 20th June, the app Nordgold Academy and My Nordgold - Employee personal account HR service were active during the first quarter 2022, according to Pixalate’s data. They are directed to the company employees

May 8th, 2022

Targeting State-Controlled Media Within Russia That Bolster Putin’s War. The United States sanctions three of Russia’s most highly-viewed directly or indirectly state-controlled television stations in Russia – Joint Stock Company Channel One Russia, Television Station Russia-1, and Joint Stock Company NTV Broadcasting Company. All three stations have been among the largest recipients of foreign revenue, which feeds back to the Russian State’s revenue.

The US Treasury also includes in the SDN list the Joint Stock Company Moscow Industrial Bank and more than 22 other entities

There are 3 Android and 3 iOS Apps developed by Moscow Industrial Bank

April 20, 2022

The US Treasury takes new steps by sanctioning the Russian commercial bank Transkapitalbank and a global network of more than 40 individuals and entities whose primary function is to facilitate sanctions evasion for Russian entities.

Moreover, for the first time, OFAC targets a virtual currency mining company, the third-largest in the world, Bitriver AG, and its subsidiaries. 

According to Pixalate’s data, we have found the following:

  • 7 iOS apps developed by Transkapitalbank TKB — also apparently related to 2 website domains (www.tkbbank.ru; alt. Website tkbbank.com)
  • 6 website domains are potentially related to Tsargrad, a Russia-based company that spreads pro-Kremlin propaganda and disinformation, amplified by the Government of Russia
  • 2 iOS apps developed by Organizatia de Creditare Nebancara Premier Leasing, Societate Cu Raspundere Limitata.

April 7, 2022

29 entities added to the OFAC SDN lists

The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated Alrsoa, the world largest diamond mining company, and redesignated Joint Stock Company United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC) along its subsidiaries and board members. These actions were taken pursuant to EO (14024). 

  • In April, Pixalate identified two active apps in the App Store, apparently developed by Alrosa IT, OOO. one directly linked to the entity domain (http://www.alrosa.ru/). 
  • Pixalate identified one IOS active app developed NEVSKOE

Pixalate will continue to update and publish its findings as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues. 

April 6, 2022

50 entities added and/or redesignated to the OFAC SDN list.

The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) took major steps to degrade the Russian economy and impose full blocking sanctions by including Sberbank, Alfabank, and their corresponding subsidiaries (40 Sberbank and 6 Alfabank) into the SDN list. Previously on the 24th February, 2022, these entities were included in the CAPTA list. Further, the Treasury introduces new targeting to Putin’s family members. These actions were taken pursuant to EO (14024). 

Already tracked mobile apps (Data updated in April):

  • In April, there were 19 Android and 23 iOS apps in the stores in which the developer appeared to be Sberbank of Russia. 
  • Pixalate identified 1 Sberbank-related domain with Google Ads in March 2022 and 66% of their inventory being US (San Diego, Minneapolis, Sarasota, San Francisco and Los Angeles).
  • Pixalate identified 8 Android active apps in which the developer appeared to be Alfa Bank AO and 4 Android apps by AlfaBank. 
  • As of April 2022, there are still 5 Android active apps developed by YooMoney, and 4 iOS active apps with developer name being YooMoney NBCO LLC. 

New mobile apps tracker:

  • There are 3 IOS active apps developed by Sovremennye Tekhnologgi, OOO and 2 developed by LLC Sovremennye Tekhnologiyi Bezopasnosty. 
  • There is 1 IOS active app developed by Vydayushchiesya Kredity

April 5, 2022

Two crypto related entities added to the OFAC SDN list and their virtual addresses.

The OFAC sanctioned the world’s largest and most prominent darknet market, Hydra Market (Hydra). In addition, it identifies 100 virtual currency addresses associated with the entity’s operations (E.O.-13694). Garantex, the Estonian virtual currency exchange, is being designated pursuant to E.O. 14024, for operating or having operated in the financial sector of the Russian Federation Economy. 

  • In April, Pixalate identified 2 Android and 1 iOS apps, all in the finance category, apparently developed by Garantex Europe OU and Garantex.
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March 31, 2022

21 entities added and/or redesignated to the OFAC SDN list.

New OFAC sanctions upon dozens of Russian evasion and technology companies, Serbia Engineering, AO NII-Vektor, T-Platforms, Mikron, MERI, which are instrumental to the Russian war machine. 

  • In April, Pixalate identified 6 active apps in Google Play Store allegedly developed by Vektör Teknoloji

March 24, 2022

OFAC imposed sanctions upon dozens of Russian defense companies, 328 members of the Russian State Duma, Sberbank’s CEO and the head of Russia’s largest financial institution, Sberbank, Herman Oskarovich Gref (Gref).

Pixalate will continue to update and publish its findings as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues. 

*Alpha-Bank, Russia’s largest privately-owned financial institution and Russia’s fourth-largest financial institution overall, has been included in the OFAC's Non-SDN Menu-Based Sanctions List. 

March 3, 2022

OFAC and the U.S. Department of State intensified pressure on Russia by targeting Russian intelligence-directed disinformation outlets. Some of these are related to the online journal SCF, designated pursuant to E.O. 13848 on April 15, 2021, for having engaged in foreign interference in the 2020 U.S. presidential election.  

February 24, 2022

At the start of Russia’s invasion or Ukraine, the Office of Foreign Assets Control ("OFAC") of the US Department of the Treasury took action against Russia’s top financial institutions, imposing sanctions on Russia’s two largest banks (Sberbank and VTB Bank) and almost 90 financial institution subsidiaries around the world. 

On the 22nd of February, OFAC sanctioned Corporation Bank for Development and Foreign Economic Affairs Vnesheconombank (VEB) and Promsvyazbank Public Joint Stock Company (PSB), along with 42 of their subsidiaries.

OFAC sanctioned entities are registered on the Google Play Store and/or Apple App Store as developers of the following:

          • 41 active apps by Sberbank, a state-owned Russian banking and financial services company. Pixalate wrote a blog about this action.
          • 36 apps by Alfa-Bank* and eight Alfa Telecom website domains.
          • 21 apps by Sovkombank which were included in the OFAC's stringent Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) List along with several of its 22 subsidiaries. (Presence on OFAC’s SDN List means their assets are blocked and U.S. persons are generally prohibited entirely from dealing with these entities.)
          • 12 apps by Otkritie, another major player in the Russian financial industry. 
          • 11 YooMoney apps,** which were still available for download on the Google and Apple app stores as of March 16, 2022. For more information about YooMoney see Pixalate’s recent blog.
          • 53 active apps from entities in the energy and communications sectors: 
            • 23 iOS apps from Gazprom Neft* and seven active apps from Belgazprombank (controlled by Gazprom Group)
            • Seven iOS apps from Gazprombank**, the third-largest financial institution, closely affiliated with the energy sector.
            • 30 active apps and six websites by Rostelecom, a major Russian communications company. 

As part of the United States’ serious and expansive response to Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, OFAC imposed sanctions upon 24 Belarusian individuals and entities due to Belarus’s support for, and facilitation of, the invasion. Certain of these entities are registered on the Google Play Store and/or Apple App Store as developers of the following:

          • Two Android apps from Belinvestbank, the fourth-largest financial institution in Belarus.
          • Three delisted apps from LLC Synesis, a Belarusian security company. 

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**In 2020, YooMoney (then operating as Yandex.Money) was wholly acquired by Sberbank, a state-owned Russian bank.

***Gazprom Neft is one of Russia’s largest oil producers/refiners 

****Gazprombank is the third-largest financial institution, closely affiliated with the energy sector.

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