In an executive order issued today, President Barack Obama used his emergency powers to impose sanctions on a number of Russian military and intelligence officials and also to eject 35 Russians labeled by the administration as intelligence operatives. The order was issued as a response to the breach of the Democratic National Committee's network and the targeted intrusion into e-mail accounts belonging to members of Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign.
Obama made the sanctions an extension of an April 2015 executive order "to take additional steps to deal with the national emergency with respect to significant malicious cyber-enabled activities."
The order is being accompanied by the publication of data from US intelligence communities bolstering findings that the breaches were part of an information operation to manipulate the results of the US presidential election. The data, released by the Department of Homeland Security and Federal Bureau of Investigation as a Joint Analysis Report (JAR), contains "declassified technical information on Russian civilian and military intelligence services’ malicious cyber activity, to better help network defenders in the United States and abroad identify, detect, and disrupt Russia’s global campaign of malicious cyber activities," according to an Obama administration statement. "The JAR includes information on computers around the world that Russian intelligence services have co-opted without the knowledge of their owners in order to conduct their malicious activity in a way that makes it difficult to trace back to Russia." Some of the data had been previously published by cyber-security firms, but in some cases the data is newly declassified government data.