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U.S. Issues New Economic Sanctions Against Russia For Alleged Involvement in Government Hacking Activity

As a result of recent nefarious activity, President Joe Biden and the United States on April 15 announced official economic and financial sanctions against the Russian government and other intelligence services acting against U.S. sovereignty and business interests. The sanctions will become effective in June 2021.

The sanctions come after the Biden Administration formally named the Foreign Intelligence Service of the Russian Federation (SVR), also known as APT 29, Cozy Bear and The Dukes, as the perpetrator of the recent SolarWinds campaign which impacted upwards of 16,000 computer systems worldwide. Also preceding the sanctions was the Treasury Department’s statement that the “scope and scale of [the SolarWinds] compromise combined with Russia’s history of carrying out reckless and disruptive cyber operations makes it a national security concern.”

The sanctions target 32 Russian entities and individuals deemed to be involved in the misconduct and primarily restrict United States financial institutions from buying new sovereign debt issued by Russian financial institutions. They also include the designation of six (6) Russian technology companies to the Office of Foreign Assets Control’s (OFAC) Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons (SDN) List. These companies provide a range of services to the SVR, including the provision of expertise to develop tools and infrastructure, as well as the facilitation of malicious cyber activities. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Defense reports that the SVR stole “red team tools,” which mimic cyberattacks to help customers better protect themselves, from a U.S. cyber security company.  If made public or used offensively by the SVR or other actors, these tools would create additional opportunities for threat actors to target computer systems worldwide.

Whether or not the U.S. government takes additional action to protect our supply chains from further exploitation, the sanctions certainly demonstrate the United States’ collective approach to bolstering cybersecurity across the globe. If you have any questions or would like additional information, please contact Carolyn Purwin Ryan (; 267.930.6836) or Maria Monastra (; 267.930.4602.

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