On Thursday, The US government expel ten diplomats and place a range of new sanctions on Russian individuals and assets in response to the SolarWinds hack. The government also added some new restrictions on Russia’s sovereign debt, which will make it more difficult for the country’s government to raise money and support its currency.
US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said: “Treasury will target Russian leaders, officials, intelligence services, and their proxies that attempt to interfere in the U.S. electoral process or subvert U.S. democracy. This is the start of a new U.S. campaign against Russian malign behavior.”
The sanctions also target 32 individuals believed to have participated in government efforts to influence the 2020 election, a troubling replay of the 2016 influence campaign that hacked members of the Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee. One of those individuals is named Alexei Gromov, a deputy chief of staff in the Russian president’s office, who allegedly led a Kremlin effort that sought to exacerbate tensions in the United States by discrediting the 2020 U.S. election process, according to a Treasury Department statement.
A number of private-sector cybersecurity firms in Russia were also sanctioned for their work supporting government efforts.
Uncovered in December, the hack saw more than 250 federal agencies and businesses compromised by a state-sponsored actor, which exposed a network security company called SolarWinds.The US intelligence service believes with high confidence that the attack was carried out by Russia’s Foreign intelligence Service.