Reuters is reporting that U.S. officials are considering placing sanctions on Russian and Chinese individuals and businesses for their roles in cyber attacks targeting U.S. commercial interests.
The officials, who did not want to be identified, said that the decisions have not been finalized but any sanctions on Russia could further strain ties between the two countries. Additionally, if sanctions are placed on Chinese individuals or companies in the coming weeks, it could overshadow a state visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping planned later this month.
The sanctions would not target those suspected of hacking government databases such as the Office of Personnel Management and White House, rather they would target those who have hacked U.S. commercial interests. If sanctions are implemented, it would be the first such move since President Obama signed an executive order in April aimed at cracking down on foreign hackers targeting U.S. computer systems.