The US President Donald Trump intends to extend by one year the Executive Order 13694 that gives the US Governments special powers to issue sanctions against people and organizations engaged in significant cyberattacks and cybercrime against the U.S.
The Executive Order 13694 was introduced by former President Barack Obama on April 1, 2015, and was due to expire next Saturday. President Trump sent a letter to Congress yesterday informing it of his decision to keep it active the Order.
“Significant malicious cyber-enabled activities originating from, or directed by persons located, in whole or in substantial part, outside the United States, continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States,” Trump wrote in the letter. “Therefore, I have determined that it is necessary to continue the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13694 with respect to significant malicious cyber-enabled activities.”
The executive order gave the U.S. new powers to retaliate for hacking against the critical infrastructure, political institutions, and US organizations.
In December, the Order was used to sanction Russian agents and organizations for their alleged role in the cyber attacks on the Presidential Election.
The US ejected 35 Russian intelligence operatives from the United States and imposed sanctions on nine entities and individuals.
The Russians individuals ejected by the US Government are working out of the Russia’s consulate in San Francisco and the Russian embassy in Washington.
According to a White House fact sheet issued on the executive order, the individuals due to the “harassment of our diplomatic personnel in Russia by security personnel and police.”
The US Government sanctioned the Russian intelligence services, the GRU (Russian Main Intelligence Directorate) and the FSB (Federal Security Service), four GRU officers, and three other organizations. The actions are the Obama administration’s response to a Russian hacking and disinformation campaign used to interfere in the American election process.
The order was issued concurrently a report from US intelligence that confirms the cyber attacks against the 2015 Presidential election aimed to influence the results of the vote.
The decision to extend the existing executive order is one of the first actions the Trump Administration has taken to approach cyber security issues.
One of the issues explicitly requested in the order is a close collaboration between the Department of Commerce and Department of Defense aimed at the protection of the critical infrastructure.
(Security Affairs – Executive Order 13694, President Trump)