US sanctions Russia over SolarWinds hack, election interference

President Joe Biden ordered sanctions against Russia for actions by its government and intelligence services against US.

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President Joe Biden on Thursday signed an executive order imposing a range of retaliatory measures against Russia for alleged election interference and malicious cyber activity, including the widespread SolarWinds hack

The new measures sanction 32 entities and individuals for “carrying out Russian government-directed attempts to influence the 2020 US presidential election,” and six Russian companies for providing “support to the Russian Intelligence Services’ cyber program.” The US is also expelling ten Russian diplomats and putting in place economic restrictions. 

Key intelligence agencies had already said Russia was the likely origin of the SolarWinds hack, which used tainted software from IT management company SolarWinds to penetrate multiple US federal agencies and at least 100 private companies. On Thursday, the administration formally named the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service as the perpetrator of the “broad-scope cyber espionage campaign.” The National Security Agency, Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency and Federal Bureau of Investigation issued a joint advisory outlining “software vulnerabilities that the SVR uses to gain access to victim devices and networks.”

The administration said it’s also taking steps to bolster cybersecurity and evaluating whether to take further action under the executive order to protect supply chains from exploitation by Russia.

More to come. 

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