U.S. President Barack Obama has issued an
executive order to authorize his government to sanction foreign hackers who plan or carry
out cyber attacks on the U.S. In a statement on Wednesday, he granted
the Secretary of the Treasury, the Attorney General and the Secretary of State permission
to impose sanctions, involving diplomatic engagement, trade policy tools, and law
enforcement mechanisms. Obama said that cyber threats pose one of
the most serious economic and national security challenges to the U.S., and the new program
will help counter such malicious threats. In January, the U.S. imposed new sanctions
on North Korea after a cyber attack on Sony Pictures.