Obama signed an executive order as deterrent against hacking

Pierluigi Paganini April 02, 2015

A new executive order signed by the US President Obama imposes sanctions against every entities that is threatening US assets, even overseas hackers

The President of United States, Barack Obama has signed an executive order that uses economic restrictions to “control” anyone that is trying to attack any American interests.

But what this exactly means? This means that if the US authorities identify an entity (personor group) that is threatening the US infrastructure and which is responsible for a security breach, then all its assets can be frozen, including bank accounts, if these assets are located in the US soil.

“Starting today, we’re giving notice to those who pose significant threats to our security or economy by damaging our critical infrastructure, disrupting or hijacking our computer networks, or stealing the trade secrets of American companies or the personal information of American citizens for profit,” said the president Obama. “From now on, we have the power to freeze their assets, make it harder for them to do business with U.S. companies, and limit their ability to profit from their misdeeds.”

The executive order explicitly refers the following case regarding possible activities that represent a threat for the Homeland security:

  • harming, or otherwise significantly compromising the provision of services by, a computer or network of computers that support one or more entities in a critical infrastructure sector;
  • significantly compromising the provision of services by one or more entities in a critical infrastructure sector;
  • causing a significant disruption to the availability of a computer or network of computers; or
  • causing a significant misappropriation of funds or economic resources, trade secrets, personal identifiers, or financial information for commercial or competitive advantage or private financial gain; 

The executive order is efficient only if the alleged attackers have assets inside America, or do business with American companies.

Barack Obama, Jeh Johnson executive order

The idea behind the executive order is aligned with previous orders signed Obama to punish hacking activities against US systems. President Obama already anticipated the use of economic sanctions as a deterrent against cyber attacks in the Sony Pictures case. in January 2015, Obama announced economic sanctions against North Korea in the wake of the hacks against Sony Pictures.

About the Author Elsio Pinto

Elsio Pinto is at the moment the Lead Mcafee Security Engineer at Swiss Re, but he also as knowledge in the areas of malware research, forensics, ethical hacking. He had previous experiences in major institutions being the European Parliament one of them. He is a security enthusiast and tries his best to pass his knowledge. He also owns his own blog http://high54security.blogspot.com/
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Edited by Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs –  executive order, Obama)

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