An anonymous reader writes: President Barack Obama has today signed an executive order [https://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2015/04/01/our-latest-tool-combat-cyber-attacks-what-you-need-know] extending the U.S. administration’s power to respond to malicious cyberattacks and espionage campaigns. The order enforces financial sanctions on foreign hackers who action attacks against American businesses, institutions and citizens. The new legislation will enable the secretary of the Treasury, along with the attorney general and secretary of State, to inflict penalties on cyber criminals behind hacking attacks which “create a significant threat to U.S. national security, foreign policy or economic health or financial stability of the United States,” Obama said. Sanctions could include freezing of assets or a total ban on commercial trade. The authorities will be limited to imposing the new sanctions solely in cases where the attacks are considered significant enough to warrant a penalty. Punishable attacks could include malicious security breaches of critical infrastructure, DDoS campaigns against computers and networks, or those that result in the “significant misappropriation of funds or economic resources, trade secrets, personal identifiers..."