Democratic Senator Bob Menendez, co-chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, called on the Donald Trump administration on Wednesday to impose personal sanctions on five Russian citizens who were recently accused of conducting a series of cyber attacks against the United States.
In a letter to Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin, Menendez called on the White House to “counter threats to US security with all available means, including sanctions,” under the Counter America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).
We are talking about five officers who worked in military unit 74455 of the Main Directorate of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, also known as the Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU). On October 15, the US Department of Justice indicted Russians Yuri Andrienko, Sergei Detistov, Pavel Frolov, Artem Ochichenko and Pyotr Pliskin for committing cybercrimes.
“Ongoing cyberattacks by the Russian authorities against individuals, American companies and institutions continue to pose a serious threat to the security of our country,” Menendez said in a letter. “The threat of Russian malicious actions in cyberspace is real, and the Treasury Department must demonstrate to the Russian government our intransigence for preventing future attacks ”.
The senator cited a statement from US Assistant Attorney General for National Security John Demers, who said during the indictment that “no country has used its cyber capabilities as maliciously or irresponsibly as Russia, meaninglessly inflicting unprecedented damage to achieve small tactical advantages and satisfy attacks malice “.
The materials of the Ministry of Justice claim that thousands of American and international corporations, organizations, political campaigns and parties have become victims of cyberattacks organized by Russian military intelligence; foreign governments; as well as entities and corporations associated with the 2018 Winter Olympics.