The US Treasury also placed sanctions on Russian hackers over election meddling and last year’s NotPetya ransomware attack.
Infrastructure hacks: A joint alert from the FBI and Homeland Security Department explains that “since at least March 2016, Russian government cyber actors have also targeted U.S. government entities and multiple U.S. critical infrastructure sectors, including the energy, nuclear, commercial facilities, water, aviation, and critical manufacturing sectors.”
Direct action: The US Treasury has placed sanctions on five groups and 19 individuals from Russia for their involvement with “nefarious [cyber] attacks.” It specifically mentions interference in the 2016 US election and the NotPetya ransomware attack. The sanctions mean individuals and organizations in the US are banned from doing business with the Russian entities.
The message: “The Administration is confronting and countering malign Russian cyber activity, including their attempted interference in U.S. elections, destructive cyber-attacks, and intrusions targeting critical infrastructure,” explained Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin. “These targeted sanctions are a part of a broader effort to address the ongoing nefarious attacks emanating from Russia.”
Russian retaliation? The Washington Post reports that Russia’s deputy foreign minister, Sergei Ryabkov, says the nation has already “begun preparing retaliatory measures.”