US Treasury Department Sanctions Russians Over NotPetya, Election Meddling

The US Treasury Department has issued new sanctions against 5 entities and 19 individuals (unnamed) in response to Russia’s cyber-activities, including election meddling and the NotPetya attack last year. Those slapped with the restrictions will be denied access to any of their property and interests held within American jurisdictions; additionally, US citizens are prohibited from engaging in transactions with those sanctioned. 

The department cited what it referred to as “Russia’s continuing destabilizing activities”: The NotPetya campaign, it noted, was the “most destructive and costly cyber-attack in history,” resulting in billions of dollars in damage across Europe, Asia and the United States, with disruptions to global shipping, trade and the production of medicines. Additionally, several hospitals in the United States were unable to create electronic records for more than a week. The US and other nations officially attributed the attack to the Russian military last month.

“The Administration is confronting and countering malign Russian cyber activity, including their attempted interference in US elections, destructive cyber attacks, and intrusions targeting critical infrastructure,” said US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in a statement. “These targeted sanctions are a part of a broader effort to address the ongoing nefarious attacks emanating from Russia. Treasury intends to impose additional [targeted] sanctions, informed by our intelligence community, to hold Russian government officials and oligarchs accountable for their destabilizing activities by severing their access to the US financial system.”

The Treasury also acknowledged, in a stark contrast to the line held by America's President Donald Trump for months leading up to the US election and after, that Russian government cyber-actors have targeted US government entities and multiple critical infrastructure sectors, including the energy, nuclear, commercial facilities, water, aviation and critical manufacturing sectors, since at least 2016. 

Also in contrast to Trump’s ongoing insistence that US intelligence could be flawed, the Treasury said that “indicators of compromise, and technical details on the tactics, techniques and procedures, are provided in the recent technical alert issued by the Department of Homeland Security and Federal Bureau of Investigation.”

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