Cyber criminals face new EU sanctions

The new mechanism will include asset freezes and visa bans

The EU adopted a mechanism to impose new sanctions regime on individuals and legal entities for cyberattacks, the EU Council said in a statement Friday. Aimed at detering future attacks by hostile state and non-state actors and pushed by the UK, the sanctions regime will impose tougher consequences for those behind cyber attacks such as asset freezes and visa bans, which will replace the old, country-based sanctions.

"On 17 May 2019, the Council established a framework which allows the EU to impose targeted restrictive measures to deter and respond to cyber-attacks which constitute an external threat to the EU or its Member States, including cyber-attacks against third States or international organisations where restricted measures are considered necessary to achieve the objectives of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP)," the Council statement said.

"This is decisive action to deter future cyber-attacks. For too long now, hostile actors have been threatening the EU’s security through disrupting critical infrastructure, attempts to undermine democracy and stealing commercial secrets and money running to billions of Euros. We must now look to impose travel bans and asset freezes against those we know have been responsible for this," Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt also said on the matter.

"Our message to governments, regimes and criminal gangs prepared to carry out cyber-attacks is clear: together, the international community will take all necessary steps to uphold the rule of law and the rules based international system which keeps our societies safe," he added.

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