Obama Signs Executive Order for Cyber-security Sanctions
The U.S. government is now set to use sanctions as yet another tool to defend American interests against cyber-attacks.President Obama today announced a new sanctions program to take action against cyber-atttackers that threaten the United States. The move is intended to provide another tool for the government to help protect American interests. In a White House blog post, Lisa Monaco, assistant to the president for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, explained that the new executive order signed by President Obama, "authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Attorney General and the Secretary of State, to sanction malicious cyber actors whose actions threaten the national security, foreign policy, or economic health or financial stability of the United States." The new executive order follows an order signed in February, to expand information sharing. Monaco wrote that malicious cyber-activity is often profit-motivated and the new sanctions program takes aim at limiting the ability of threat actors to profit from their activities.
"By freezing assets of those subject to sanctions and making it more difficult for them to do business with U.S. entities, we can remove a powerful economic motivation for committing these acts in the first place," Monaco wrote. "With this new tool, malicious cyber actors who would target our critical infrastructure or seek to take down Internet services would be subject to these costs when designated for sanctions."