How to Deter Russian Cyber Attacks

To Inform is to Influence

Image Credit: Office of the President, Russian Federation.

George Beebe

July 12, 2017

Washington’s political class may not agree on much these days, but nearly everyone agrees that Russia should be punished for meddling in the US presidential election. The only question is how severe that punishment should be.  Many worry that if the consequences are too lenient, Moscow will interfere in future elections, perhaps on an even grander scale than in 2016. As a result, a consensus appears to be forming around some combination of clear warnings, strengthened sanctions, and retaliatory cyber operations all meant to demonstrate that Russia will pay a severe price for interference in US politics, thus deterring future meddling.

One element of this package, a new and toughened sanctions regime, was passed in the Senate in June 2017 by a vote of 98-2 and includes an automatic renewal provision absent specific Congressional action to lift…

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