Russia sanctions: Here’s how the US will retaliate

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during his annual news conference in Moscow, Russia, Friday, Dec. 23, 2016. Putin says U.S. Democrats should have apologized to American voters over the information revealed by hackers who posted Democratic National Committee e-mails. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)
Caption
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during his annual news conference in Moscow, Russia, Friday, Dec. 23, 2016. Putin says U.S. Democrats should have apologized to American voters over the information revealed by hackers who posted Democratic National Committee e-mails. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)

The Obama administration released a list of sanctions Thursday to punish Russia for its “malicious cyber activity.”

The sanctions, which include kicking 35 Russian government officials and their families out of the United States, came after American intelligence agencies discovered the Russians hacked into computers and engaged in “aggressive harassment of U.S. officials and cyber operations aimed at the U.S. election in 2016” a statement from the White House read.

Here is a list of the sanctions put into place Thursday:

The President has sanctioned nine entities and individuals -- two Russian intelligence services (the GRU and the FSB); four individual officers of the GRU; and three companies that provided material support to the GRU’s cyber operations. Here are those organizations and people:

• The Main Intelligence Directorate (a.k.a. Glavnoe Razvedyvatel’noe Upravlenie) (a.k.a. GRU) is involved in external collection using human intelligence officers and a variety of technical tools, and is designated for tampering, altering, or causing a misappropriation of information with the purpose or effect of interfering with the 2016 U.S. election processes.

• The Federal Security Service (a.k.a. Federalnaya Sluzhba Bezopasnosti) (a.k.a FSB) assisted the GRU in conducting the activities described above.

• The three other entities include the Special Technology Center (a.k.a. STLC, Ltd. Special Technology Center St. Petersburg) assisted the GRU in conducting signals intelligence operations; Zorsecurity (a.k.a. Esage Lab) provided the GRU with technical research and development; and the Autonomous Noncommercial Organization “Professional Association of Designers of Data Processing Systems” (a.k.a. ANO PO KSI) provided specialized training to the GRU.

• Sanctioned individuals include Igor Valentinovich Korobov, the current Chief of the GRU; Sergey Aleksandrovich Gizunov, Deputy Chief of the GRU; Igor Olegovich Kostyukov, a First Deputy Chief of the GRU; and Vladimir Stepanovich Alexseyev, also a First Deputy Chief of the GRU.

• In addition, the Department of the Treasury is designating two Russian individuals, Evgeniy Bogachev and Aleksey Belan, under a pre-existing portion of a former Executive Order for using cyber-enabled means to cause misappropriation of funds and personal identifying information. Evgeniy Mikhailovich Bogachev is designated today for having engaged in significant malicious cyber-enabled misappropriation of financial information for private financial gain. Bogachev and his cybercriminal associates are responsible for the theft of over $100 million from U.S. financial institutions, Fortune 500 firms, universities, and government agencies.

• Aleksey Alekseyevich Belan engaged in the significant malicious cyber-enabled misappropriation of personal identifiers for private financial gain. Belan compromised the computer networks of at least three major United States-based e-commerce companies.

Responding to Russian harassment of U.S. personnel, the president issued this statement:

“Today the State Department declared 35 Russian government officials from the Russian Embassy in Washington and the Russian Consulate in San Francisco “persona non grata.” They were acting in a manner inconsistent with their diplomatic status. Those individuals and their families were given 72 hours to leave the United States.”

In addition, the White House said, the Department of State has provided notice that as of noon on Friday, December 30, Russian access will be denied to two Russian government-owned compounds, one in Maryland and one in New York.

A Joint Analysis Report (JAR) will also be issued by the Department of Homeland Security and Federal Bureau of Investigation that contains declassified technical information on Russian civilian and military intelligence services’ malicious cyber activity, according to President Obama. The information will “better help network defenders in the United States and abroad identify, detect, and disrupt Russia’s global campaign of malicious cyber activities.”

“The JAR includes information on computers around the world that Russian intelligence services have co-opted without the knowledge of their owners in order to conduct their malicious activity in a way that makes it difficult to trace back to Russia,” the White House statement read. “In some cases, the cybersecurity community was aware of this infrastructure, in other cases, this information is newly declassified by the U.S. government.

DHS and FBI are encouraging security companies and private sector owners and operators to use this JAR and look back within their network traffic for signs of malicious activity, according to the statement.

According to The Associated Press, Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman says Moscow regrets new U.S. sanctions, and will consider retaliatory measures.