EU Has Approved Cyber-Attack Sanctions

The European Union has agreed to an automatic set of sanctions to punish any future cyber attackers. EU officials in Brussels have approved a cyber sanctions regime that would impose asset freezes and travel bans on individuals. 

While no specific targets have been named yet, the EU hopes the new system will make it easier for the 28 member nations to act quickly in the event of a cyber-attack.

Cyber-Attacks on the EU
Russia and China regularly engage in cyber warfare against the EU and other nations, and were behind several high-profile attacks in recent months.  Earlier this year, Chinese state-sponsored hackers were revealed to be behind attacks on Norwegian software firm Visma and European aerospace company Airbus

Hackers released the private emails of hundreds of German politicians back in December.  In September, two Russian spies were caught deploying cyber tools in order to sabotage the Swiss defense lab tasked with analyzing the nerve agent used to poison former Russian Agent Sergei Skripal.

EU leaders have voiced concerns that Russia  interfered in the recent European Parliament elections, Held once every five years, the EU Parliament election will be the first since Russia's disinformation campaign aimed at the 2016 US presidential election put other nations on high alert for similar behavior. 

The new sanctions regime sends a clear message to hostile actors everywhere that the UK, and the EU, will impose tough consequences for cyber-attacks.

Over the last two years, we have seen a significant increase in the scale and severity of malicious cyber activity globally. The UK has been clear that it will not tolerate malicious cyber activity of this nature. The UK, alongside a coalition of Member States, has been at the forefront of driving the new approach forward.

The sanctions regime will involve travel bans and asset freezes against those we know have been responsible for these actions.

British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: “This is decisive action to deter future cyber-attacks. For too long now, hostile actors have been threatening the EU’s security through disrupting critical infrastructure, attempts to undermine democracy and stealing commercial secrets and money running to billions of Euros. We must now look to impose travel bans and asset freezes against those we know have been responsible for this”.  

“The UK and its allies have been unafraid to call out those who have conducted cyber-attacks with the intent to damage and destroy our institutions and societies. But we have been clear that more must be done to deter future attacks by hostile state and non-state actors”.

Gov.UK:      EndGadget

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