The U.S. will impose new economic sanctions on two-dozen Russian individuals and entities for cyberattacks in the U.S. and meddling in the 2016 election, senior national security officials said Thursday. The Treasury Department will target five entities and 19 individuals from Russia for actions ranging from the “destabilizing efforts” in the 2016 presidential election to the “NotPetya” malware attack, the costliest and most disruptive in history.
Independent and Western observers have not yet verified the claim. But the Russian program does exist. Last April, Almaz-Antey general designer Pavel Sozinov told Russian news agency Ria Novosti that Russian leadership had ordered the company to develop weapons that could interfere electronically with or achieve “direct functional destruction of those elements deployed in orbit.”
Russia used several American social media accounts in an attempt to disrupt U.S. energy markets, according to a House committee report released Thursday.
The discovery raises new questions about the nature of the company's effort to find and remove content produced by Russians trying to meddle in American politics, and how comprehensive it has been. The accounts and videos were removed only after CNN brought them to Twitter's attention on Wednesday. Twitter did not comment as to why it removed the accounts or why they had been allowed to remain live for so long.
The hackers known as Fancy Bear, who also intruded in the U.S. election, went after at least 87 people working on militarized drones, missiles, rockets, stealth fighter jets, cloud-computing platforms or other sensitive activities, the AP found. Employees at both small companies and defense giants like Lockheed Martin Corp., Raytheon Co., Boeing Co., Airbus Group and General Atomics were targeted by the hackers.
No one would call Russia’s government and budgetary bureaucracy particularly nimble, nor its defense industry particularly advanced. Certainly, it trails Western economies in such key areas as communication equipment, microelectronics, high-tech control systems, and other key technologies. But in certain aspects of the field of unmanned military systems, Russia may be inching ahead of its competition in designing and testing a wide variety of systems and conceptualizing their future use.
Advancements in shale technology and expansion of the United States’ pipeline network and oil export infrastructure have enabled it to export hydrocarbon resources for the first time in decades. This rapid increase in U.S. oil and gas production is transforming the global energy market. Supply has exceeded demand, slashing oil prices from over $100 a barrel to the mid-50s.
“We were used, in the Cold War, to having the current edge in technology, partially because the Russians adopted a policy after World War II to draft off our technology - so they designed their fighters to use F/A-18 radar because they knew they’d be able to steal them,” Lehman said on Wednesday at a Maritime Security Dialogue event cohosted by the U.S. Naval Institute and the Center for Strategic and International Studies.