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At the end of July 2020, for the first time in the history of the European Union, sanctions were imposed on entities and individuals who carry out cyber attacks on communities and member states.
Sanctions against those responsible for cyber attacks were made possible by the Law of 17 May 2019 adopted by the Council of the European Union, which introduced provisions to punish cybercriminals. The introduction of such a law is a response to the growing number of cyber-attacks which pose a threat to the EU and its members. In order to achieve security and within the framework of the common foreign policy, these provisions can also apply to cyber attacks against third countries or international organisations.
30 July 2020 The Council of the EU decided to impose sanctions on 6 individuals and 3 entities responsible for the 2017 cyber attacks against the OPCW (Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons) and attacks known as ‘WannaCry’, ‘NotPetya’ and ‘Operation Cloud Hopper’. According to unofficial information, Russian military intelligence was behind the attacks. The sanctions consist of a travel ban and asset freeze on EU territory. In addition, member states cannot provide funds to sanctioned entities.
The European Union is aware of the growing threat posed by cyber attacks. It has recently taken steps to establish a stable, peaceful and secure cyberspace.
We will continue to strengthen our cooperation to promote international security and stability in cyberspace, increasing global resilience, and raising awareness of cyber-threats and malicious cyberspace. “added EU Head of Diplomacy Josep Borrell.