US ready for sanctions against Russia for SolarWinds hacker attack
April 15, 2021 - US President Joe Biden has ordered new sanctions against Russia and the expulsion of 10 diplomats in response to interference in last year's presidential election and the hacker attack on federal government agencies.
Washington for the first time explicitly linked the attack to a Russian intelligence service.
In addition to the expulsion of ten Russian diplomats, including intelligence officials, the White House has sanctioned 32 individuals accused of trying to interfere in the presidential elections of 2020.
Moscow is also under accusation for the hacking campaign and other hostile activities. like the occupation of Crimea, stolen from Ukraine in 2014.
Furthermore, for the first time, the US has openly indicated Russian intelligence (SVR) as the author of the IT operation SolarWinds
Sanctions also affect Russian sovereign debt
The United States prohibits American financial institutions from carrying out transactions on the primary bond market issued after June 2021 by the Russian Central Bank, the Sovereign Fund or the Ministry of Finance, or to exchange securities with these entities.
The measure launched today by the Biden administration also introduces sanctions against six Russian technology companies accused of providing support to the cyber activities of the Moscow intelligence services.
The SolarWinds case
In announcing the sanctions adopted for Russia's cyber espionage activities, the United States "formally indicates the Russian SVR services, also known as Apt29, CozyBear and The Dukes, as the leaders of the wide-ranging spying campaign that exploited the SolarWinds Orion platform and other technological information infrastructures ".
This was announced by the White House, underlining the "great certainty" of the US intelligence community in attributing to the Russian services the large-scale hacking operation that gave them the opportunity to "spy on or hack 16 thousand computer systems around the world. ".
An action of such magnitude as to be "a concern for national and public security".
Among the measures adopted today by Washington, there is the expulsion of 10 Russian diplomats, some of whom are referred to as "representatives of the secret services".
The White House also today announced the National Security Agency, the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency, and the FBI publish a statement, entitled "Russian services target Russian and allied networks" in which they will provide details on the vulnerabilities of the systems that Russian services use to break systems.
And they will also advise what measures to take to identify and defend against SVR activities.
Borrell: "EU in solidarity with the US"
The EU and its member states express solidarity with the US for the impact of cyber attacks, in particular for the SolarWinds operation which, according to the US assessment, was conducted by the Russian Federation ".
This was declared by the High Representative of the EU Josep Borrell.
The breach of SolarWinds systems, notes Borrell, "has affected governments and businesses around the world, including EU member states."
For the EU, the "malicious use of communication and information technologies undermines the benefits that the Internet and ICT bring to society" and demonstrates the "readiness" that certain "actors" have in jeopardizing "stability. and international security ".
For Borrell, "everyone should refrain from irresponsible and destabilizing behavior in cyberspace".
allies support and stand in solidarity with the United States that has announced action to respond to Russia's destabilizing activities. Allies are taking action individually and collectively to improve the collective security of the Alliance."
NATO writes it in a note.
"Russia continues to demonstrate an ongoing pattern of destabilizing behavior, including its violations of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine and Georgia, and continued violation, failure to implement and circumvent numerous international obligations and commitments, including the Memorandum of Budapest ", continues NATO.
Penalties for Crimea Occupation
The US Treasury Department, together with the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada "have sanctioned eight individuals and entities in connection with Russia's occupation and repression in Crimea".
The White House tends to note this by specifying that "the transatlantic community is united in supporting Ukraine against Russian unilateral provocations along the lines of contact in eastern Ukraine, in occupied Crimea and along the Ukrainian border".
And at the same time it asks Russia to "immediately cease its military reinforcement and inflammatory rhetoric".
In addition, the US Treasury has taken measures against "32 entities and individuals who have conducted, on the orders of the Russian government, attempts to influence the presidential elections of 2020, with other acts of disinformation and interference".
"Our action wants to stop the coordinated efforts of Russian officials, collaborators and intelligence agencies to de-legitimize our electoral process", concludes the White House stating that it will continue to "prosecute those engaged in these activities".
summoned The Russian foreign ministry, Serghei Lavrov, has summoned US ambassador, John Sullivan, after the announcement of sanctions in Moscow.
The spokesperson reports.
Moscow: "Inevitable Response"
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said a response to the new US sanctions was "inevitable".
"The United States", he added, "are not ready to come to terms with the objective reality according to which there is a multipolar world that excludes American hegemony".
"This aggressive stance will undoubtedly trigger a resolute response."
Thus the spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, after the announcement of the new sanctions by the United States.
"Washington should understand that it will have to pay a price for the degradation of bilateral relations", he continued, adding that "the responsibility for this will fall fully on the US".