On April 1, 2015, President Obama signed an executive order authorizing the first sanctions program to combat malicious cyber activity.  The order permits the U.S. Department of the Treasury to freeze the assets of individuals or entities “responsible for or complicit in, or to have engaged in, directly or indirectly, cyber-enabled activities originating from, or directed by persons located, in whole or in substantial part, outside the United States” that significantly threaten the national security, foreign policy, economic health, or financial stability of the United States. 

Malicious cyber activity includes hacking a computer in a critical infrastructure sector, disrupting the availability of a computer or network of computers, causing the misappropriation of personal identifiers, financial information, or trade secrets for commercial advantage or private financial gain, or receiving or benefitting from such misappropriation.