U.S. President Barack Obama speaks to members of the press in the Oval Office, Washington DC., March 31, 2015. Win McNamee/AFP
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President Barack Obama Wednesday authorized imposing economic sanctions on U.S. and foreign hackers, allowing the government to block the assets of persons involved in cyberattacks on U.S. targets.Under the order, the U.S. Treasury would be able to freeze or block assets of those involved in attacks on "critical" U.S. computer networks, such as banking systems or electric power, or the theft of data such as credit card information, and of companies that profit from such attacks.This could respond to so-called distributed denial-of-service attacks, theft of trade secrets or credit card numbers or other "sensitive information," according to a White House statement.Sanctions could also be imposed on companies that use trade secrets or other stolen data or assist hackers in their efforts.
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