The European Union has adopted new rules to speed up the punishment of individuals engaged in digital attacks. Among other things, bank accounts can be frozen. The measures will arrive shortly before the European elections.
The rules come about, among other things, after pressure from the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. In a statement published on the website of the British government, British Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt says that the new rules must ensure that hackers are deterred. This is done by approaching individuals who carry out hacks in person and by imposing their sanctions, for example by seizing assets or denying access to the European Union. It was announced last year that the Netherlands and other EU member states wanted to set up so-called rapid response teams to combat digital attacks.
By being able to act quickly after a digital attack, the European Union hopes that hackers will get away less often with their burglaries. Now hackers, especially if they are located in countries that are not an ally of the European Union, can often go their own way because there are little or no personal consequences for them.
Although no names of organizations or countries were mentioned, it is known that European countries have long been engaged in a struggle with Russia, accusing the latter of influencing public opinion, breaking into computer systems through state hackers and influencing elections . As the European elections are planned for this month, the implementation of the new rules seems to be in line with this.