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The Turkey Point nuclear reactor in Homestead, Florida. Photo: Rhona Wise / AFP via Getty Images

One genuine piece of news behind the U.S. sanctions against Russian individuals and organizations is the attribution to Russia of a cyberhacking campaign that has targeted critical U.S. infrastructure.

The details: Per the Treasury Department’s statement, “Since at least March 2016, Russian government cyber actors have also targeted … the energy, nuclear, commercial facilities, water, aviation and critical manufacturing sectors.”

The Department of Homeland Security has previously reported on cyber intrusions into critical infrastructure but has only identified an “Advanced Persistent Threat” without pointing the finger at a suspected culprit. In a move surely coordinated with Treasury’s announcement, the DHS updated its alert to note the Russian attribution and describe a “multi-stage campaign” into energy sector networks that included collection of “information pertaining to Industrial Control Systems.”

Why it matters: This attribution reinforces the need to secure critical infrastructure and continues a series of actions that have picked up steam since Homeland Security Advisor Tom Bossert told an audience last June that the U.S. government would “call out bad behavior and impose costs on our adversaries.” These include removal of Kaspersky from U.S. government systems, special counsel indictments, naming-and-shaming of Russia for the NotPetya attacks and this week’s sanctions and attribution.

What's next: These moves aren’t yet enough to stop Russia’s bad behavior. But it’s hard to imagine matters ending here.

Kate Charlet is director of the Technology and International Affairs Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and a former acting deputy assistant secretary of defense for cyber policy.

Go deeper

Federal judge orders Trump administration to restore DACA

DACA recipients and their supporters rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court on June 18. Photo: Drew Angerer via Getty

A federal judge on Friday ordered the Trump administration to fully restore the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, giving undocumented immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children a chance to petition for protection from deportation.

Why it matters: DACA was implemented under former President Obama, but President Trump has sought to undo the program since taking office. Friday’s ruling will require Department of Homeland Security officers to begin accepting applications starting Monday and guarantee that work permits are valid for two years.

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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Fauci says he accepted Biden's offer to be chief medical adviser "on the spot" — The recovery needs rocket fuel.
  2. Health: CDC: It's time for "universal face mask use" — Death rates rising across the country — Study: Increased testing can reduce transmission.
  3. Economy: U.S. economy adds 245,000 jobs in November as recovery slows — America's hidden depression: K-shaped recovery threatens Biden administration.
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Bay Area counties to enact stay-at-home order ahead of state mandate

Golden Gate Park. Photo: Justin Sullivan via Getty

Counties around the San Francisco Bay Area will adopt California’s new regional stay-at-home order amid surges in cases and ICU hospitalizations, health officials said Friday.

The big picture: California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a three-week stay-at-home order on Thursday that would go into effect in regions with less than 15% ICU capacity. Despite the Bay Area’s current 25.3% ICU capacity, health officials from Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Santa Clara, San Francisco and the city of Berkeley are moving ahead with a shelter-in-place mandate in the hopes of reducing risk.