U.S. imposing sanctions on Russia, expelling 10 Russian diplomats, in response to 2020 cyber attacks

The intrusion involved the technology infrastructure company SolarWinds.

Published: April 15, 2021 6:49am

Updated: April 15, 2021 11:55am

The Biden administration is announcing sanctions Thursday on Russia in response to the 2020 Russian hacking campaign in which emails from within the State Department and other key federal agencies were accessed.

The sanctions are expected to target 30 Russian entities, according to Reuters.

The White House is also expelling 10 Russian diplomats in addition to imposing a new round of sanctions, according to the Associated Press.

The moves are in response to interference in last year’s presidential election and the hacking last year of federal agencies. The U.S. for the first time explicitly linked that intrusion to a Russian intelligence service.

The sanctions effort also includes an attempt to pressure the Russian economy by targeting the country's sovereign debt. U.S. institutions will be ban from buying debt securities from the Russian bank.

The sanctions are expected to be implemented June 14 according to Tass.

The intrusion occurred in 2020 and gave hackers access to thousands of emails from the State Department including ones that i the schedules to top officials.

U.S. officials in December 2020 discovered the months-long cyber-espionage effort, largely through a hack of a widely used software from Texas-based SolarWinds Inc. At least nine federal agencies were hacked, along with dozens of private-sector companies, according to the Associated Press.

The sanction are also a Biden administration effort to punish Russia for interfering in the 2020 presidential election. U.S. intelligence agencies said in a report last month that Russian President Vladimir Putin likely attempted to sway the results.

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