back to article EU tries to get serious on cybercrime with first sanctions against Wannacry, NotPetya, CloudHopper crews

The European Union has, for the first time ever, slapped sanctions on hacking crews. The EU's Council of Ministers has cracked down on six individuals and three companies in China, North Korea, and Russia for breaking into computer networks, stealing information, and spreading malware. "Sanctions are one of the options …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Nation State seeks to maintain its Monopoly on Hacking

    as well as Violence.

    1. Gordon 10 Silver badge

      Re: The Nation State seeks to maintain its Monopoly on Hacking

      I might suggest a small modification. The *western* Nation States would desire a Monopoly on Hacking

      Also how out of date is this. No mention of anything released in the last couple of years. If you cant move faster than this its pretty pointless. any vunerable assets will be long gone/aliased.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The Nation State seeks to maintain its Monopoly on Hacking

      The joke is that the Russian individuals hacking the Organisation for the Prohibitation of Chemical Weapons would very clearly have been doing so at the behest of the Russian state to find out what we knew about the high ranking Russian special operations types that supposedly came to the UK to enjoy the sights and then took a tourist stroll through a housing estate, smeared a weapon of mass destruction on the door of a house and then went back to Russia without seeing any of those sights.

      Logically one would expect a strong response against Russia for the hacking attempt as well as the WMD usage.

      Geopolitically though several EU states are dependent on Russia; Germany for instance since closing down their nuclear power plants has needed huge quantities of Russian gas to make up for the lost generating capacity that the green retoric said would be generated by Solar & Wind. Obviously it isin't being, and Germany's CO2 emissions have soared in proportion to their Russian gas imports. This which forces their foreign policy being to appease Russia or diversify suppliers. Russian gas is slightly cheaper precisely so Russia can use it as a political lever, so they (short shortsightedly and idiotically) go with the appeasement policy.

      Since Germany has disproportionate influence in the EU they will therefore be blocking the EU sanctioning Russia in case upsetting them results in their gas getting more expensive, which means that you end up with an insanity of random sanctions of Russian shell companies and individuals instead of their bosses or the organisations actually responsible.

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Re: The Nation State seeks to maintain its Monopoly on Hacking

        I would have upvoted you, except for your rude comments about Germany at the end. Not that I don't disagree about Nordstream II - that was a shitty little move by Germany against the interests, and protests, of large numbers of their supposed allies.

        But Germany have been one of the countries leading the charge within the EU on sanctions on Russia. That's one area where Merkel has made a decision - despite protests from industry groups and some in her own party. EU sanctions on Russia have more been blocked by Hungary, Cyprus and Italy - as I read the political stories.

        I think Merkel became a lot harder-line on Russia after the invasion of Ukraine - she's supposed to have come off the phone to Putin and said something like, "he's living on another planet" - I think that was in his lying about havnig Russian troops in Crimea phase.

        Your other point about EU sanctions is also wrong. This is new, because it's specifically sanctioning people for hacking. But Putin's mates at the top of the regime are already on EU sanctions lists, and have been for quite a while. Plus various of the banks and companies owned by said oligarchs.

      2. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

        Re: The Nation State seeks to maintain its Monopoly on Hacking

        which means that you end up with an insanity of random sanctions of Russian shell companies and individuals instead of their bosses or the organisations actually responsible. .... Anonymous Coward

        But of course, AC, that is a major leading vital part of the Greater IntelAIgent Game being played.

        "Tis a Stealthy Phantom of a Real Enemy .... or Almighty Friend .... you have Zero Current Future Knowledge of, and therefore No Means or Memes of Remote Virtual Command with and for an EMPowering Overall Control.

        Certainly not the wisest of dumb moves, to open up a live attack vector on such subjects and/or objects so relatively unknown and practically invisible and intangible ......... ie Presently Untouchable, but then Einstein had that false move of an operation covered and identified as to source whenever he shared ....... Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former.

        However, whenever every cloud has a silver lining, it is as a gift which just keeps on constantly giving .... and in a world/worlds of much smarter incredibly intelligent beings, the supplier of awesome limitless bounty.

        :-) That might help you realise why it is so zealously prized and jealously possessed. :-)

      3. Insert sadsack pun here

        Re: The Nation State seeks to maintain its Monopoly on Hacking

        "Since Germany has disproportionate influence in the EU they will therefore be blocking the EU sanctioning Russia..."

        You're unequivocally, factually wrong. It was Germany that was pushing the EU to impose hacking-related sanctions.

        https://m.dw.com/en/germany-calls-for-eu-sanctions-against-russia/a-53783598

      4. Danny Boyd Bronze badge

        Re: The Nation State seeks to maintain its Monopoly on Hacking

        Hi AC, any proof of Russian (Chinese, Nork, Iranian, check the appropriate) involvement? Didn't think so. Creating a false external enemy to draw attention from the internal problems - this trick goes back as far as Pharaohs and may be further. Your gov't as usual is f***ng with you, and you stupidly follow the lead. Wake up. "There's no spoon."

        1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

          Re: The Nation State seeks to maintain its Monopoly on Hacking

          Danny Boyd,

          Yes there's proof of the Russians hacking the OPCW! Dutch police caught the Russians outside their offices, while war-driving, with the laptops in question in the boot. That same GRU team had also been using similar methods to try and access the labs doing testing for drug-cheating in sports, also on behalf of the Russian government. It was one of a series of GRU screw-ups around the time of the Salisbury attack - like for example the GRU sending operatives to the UK whose cover passports had consecutive numbers.

          I'm not sure if this is because they don't care about being found out, or they're getting a bit lazy and stupid.

  2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

    Sanctions?

    if these people have been tried & convicted, then just confiscate their assets & jail them.

    If they haven't yet been convicted, wouldn't this be an illegal extra-judicial punishment under the various human rights laws?

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Sanctions?

      They can't be tried and convicted, because they can't be extradited. Unless they turn up voluntarily.

      However I'd imagine that the decisions to put them on the sanctions list are challengeable in court - so there'll have to be some evidence - which is probably one reason the sanctions take so long to put in place. Also in the EU's case, all governments have to agree to sanctions, so that usually adds a few months while they negotiate.

      The OPCW hacking was investigated by Dutch police, after a tip-off from the UK I think. From memory, they caught the guys red handed - but they were under diplomatic passports, so presumably had to be released.

  3. Richard Jones 1
    Unhappy

    Looks Like Too Little Far Too Late

    Not only have the horses bolted, they lived their lives and became someone's lunch before this action was taken.

  4. poohbear

    Now how about the NSA?

    1. HildyJ Silver badge
      Big Brother

      IIIII

      None of the Five Eyes will ever be sanctioned because they'd never consider doing anything illegitimate.

  5. sanmigueelbeer Silver badge

    *Yawn*.

    Apply penalty is one thing. Collecting is whole lot of thing.

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