President Obama laid down the lay against foreign cyber hacks this week. The US President created the first ever sanctions program against any foreign hacker that attempts to cause trouble in the US.
This includes state-owned companies in Russia and China that have been caught before attempting cyber-espionage in the states. With the new laws in place, the US now has the power to sanction both companies and individuals that are caught attempting cyber-espionage.
A Huge and Growing Problem
The Obama administration has told press that cyber-espionage is one of the biggest threats facing the US right now. In order to find ways to deal with these threats, the government has come up with the sanctions law that would penalize companies and governments that are caught trying to cyber spy. Obama told press that the sanctions will apply to anyone participating in cyber activity that attempts to damage vital infrastructure, steal government or trade secrets, and ruin computer systems.
It has been difficult to penalize foreign cyber hackers in the past, though the US government has known that hackers have been trying for a long time to tap into critical infrastructure. Last year, the government placed the blame directly on North Korea for the now infamous Sony cyber attacks. The new sanctions is one way to penalize any hackers that are caught, it will hurt the governments and companies that stand behind these hackers as well.
What the Sanctions Will Do
The order that was signed by Obama states that the government will be “Blocking the Property of Certain Persons Engaging in Significant Malicious Cyber-Enabled Activities.” By seizing the property of hackers, this will cripple the attempted cyber hacks. The president also stated that the attacks are a matter of national emergency, which is a major term usually reserved for physical attacks. But, as Obama pointed out, cyber attacks are a serious threat to the US Government and to companies operating in the US.
It is believed that the government may soon be releasing the names of those people suspected of cyber espionage, and seizures will happen following the release of that list. Right now, no action has been taken directly, but the threat is enough to make cyber hackers scramble for the time being. This is one of the most monumental laws ever passed by a president, and it’s causing a lot of press.
A Serious Issue
While many people may not see cyber hacking as a serious threat, it has been well known for some time that foreign governments are attempting to steal US government secrets through cyber hacking. Putting an end to these hacking attempts is the best way to stop any governments from supporting hackers, and to prevent hackers from going it alone.
Often, companies that are caught hacking are backed by governments, and this, in the eyes of Obama, needs to stop. Obama is the first president ever to sign such an order, and it’s one that many different countries will be taking seriously. Stay tuned for additional details.