Retaliation for Russian attacks: The most prominent target of EU action is unit 74455 of Russia’s GRU military intelligence service, a group known as Sandworm. It is linked to the NotPetya ransomware attacks, which experts say began as a political attack against Ukraine but then quickly spread across the world and caused over $10 billion in damage. The group is also linked to hacking and turning off the Ukrainian power grid during the winters of 2015 and 2016. The sanctions also targeted four Russian spies linked to a cyberattack on the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which investigates the use of chemical weapons in Syria.
China’s corporate espionage: In China, two citizens and a company, Haitai Technology Development, were sanctioned in connection with a hacking campaign known as Cloudhopper. The lengthy and sophisticated operation, carried out on behalf of Chinese intelligence services, targeted corporate secrets across six continents and is one of the most expansive espionage operations ever spotted.