The United States is considering imposing sanctions against both Russian and Chinese individuals and companies for cyber attacks against U.S. targets, Reuters reported August 31.
According to the report, U.S. officials said no final decision had been made on imposing sanctions, which could strain relations with Russia further and cast a pall over a state visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping to Washington in September.
The Washington Post first reported the Obama administration was considering sanctioning Chinese targets and other countries, but did not mention Russia. The Russian Embassy in Washington did not comment.
The U.S. government has suffered a series of embarrassing cyber attacks this year, including one linked to China on the White House Office of Personnel Management that provided a treasure trove of data about government employees, potentially to foreign spies.
Two other recent scams involved suspected Russian hackers. In one, hackers broke into U.S. taxpayer records to obtain tax refunds illegally. Another sophisticated operation targeted the unclassified email network of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff.