The Cabinet department that oversees and manages U.S. economic policy now has a new set of tools at its disposal to use against people and organizations that launch cyber attacks on the country from overseas locations.
Under the latest cyber-related executive order, the Treasury Department will have the power to freeze assets of those the U.S. holds responsible for hacks that originate in other countries and prevent them from accessing banking systems.
Additionally, the order creates a new set of sanctions against cyber attackers abroad and also includes language that would levy sanctions against those who receive information acquired through cyber theft or helps carry out a hack.
News of this action spurred more conversation around the prospect of new cybersecurity legislation from Congress and lawmakers in both chambers are working through different versions of a bill to increase information sharing between business and government.
Michael Daniel, White House cybersecurity coordinator, told a CSIS audience the administration sought to get this new framework in place in order to handle future incidents and have a new method of deterrence against those that want to cause disruption in cyberspace.
“This is really a tool that is designed for us to use in cases where we don’t believe our existing tools of diplomacy, law enforcement and others are adequate or appropriate,” Daniel said.
“The Sony Pictures incident drove home the point that we needed to make sure we had this tool available to us in order to continue expanding that array of options that we have to respond to those kinds of incidents.”
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