Feb 16, 2018

Indictments part of U.S. cyber deterrence strategy

Kremlin mounting of the guard

A Kremlin mounting of the guard cerimony. (Mikhail Japaridze / Getty)

Russia is unlikely to extradite the 13 Russians indicted by Mueller for meddling in the 2016 election. Still, the U.S. has plenty of reasons for moving forward.

The bottom line: The "name and shame" approach is mostly meant to embarrass a foreign government, scare potential collaborators for future operations and let an adversary know the U.S. is on to them.

Flashback: In 2014, the U.S. indicted five Chinese hackers accused of a military operation to steal intellectual property. Later that year, then-Secretary of State John Kerry and Chinese President Xi Jingping reached an agreement for China to stop hacking for that purpose. The U.S. has also indicted Iranian hackers for attacking critical infrastructure and banks, and Russian hackers and affiliated hackers for an attack on Yahoo.

The impact: While accused Russians are safe within the confines of Russia, they are no longer able to travel to any country with a friendlier extradition policy. Its hardly the same as imprisonment, but does serve as a threat to anyone considering helping Moscow in the future.

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