The CIA Reportedly Planning An “Unprecedented” Cyberattack Against Russia
The White House is in the planning stages of a potential cyber strike on the Russian government in retaliation for Russian interfering in the U.S. presidential race, intelligence officials told NBC News. The hacks have mainly targeted individuals and entities associated with Democrats.
According to several news outlets citing current and former U.S. government officials say the CIA has been asked to deliver options to the White House for a wide-ranging “clandestine” cyber operation. The goal of such an attack is to “harass and embarrass” the Russian government in retaliation for alleged Russian meddling in the American presidential election.
“The sources did not elaborate on the exact measures the CIA was considering, but said the agency had already begun opening cyber doors, selecting targets and making other preparations for an operation,” the report states.
A former CIA officer speaking to NBC said, “We’ve always hesitated to use a lot of stuff we’ve had, but that’s a political decision. If someone has decided, `We’ve had enough of the Russians,’ there is a lot we can do.”
Vice President Joe Biden told the NBC news program “Meet the Press” that the U.S. is “sending a message” to Russian President Vladimir Putin and “it will be at the time of our choosing, and under the circumstances that will have the greatest impact,” Biden said on the show. It has reported that the government is looking to weaken internal censorship powers in Russia, and also uncover financial dealings of Vladimir Putin in order to compromise his trustworthiness with the Russian people and potentially give his political foes more power.
However, Russia vehemently condemned the NBC report and Biden’s remarks, which it called “unprecedented” threats from the U.S.
The Russian government has been officially accused by the Department of Homeland Security and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence for organizing a hack on the Democratic National Committee (DNC) in an effort to influence the presidential election in November.
“We believe, based on the scope and sensitivity of these efforts, that only Russia’s senior-most officials could have authorized these activities,” the statement said. However, Russia has denied any involvement in the DNC email hacks.
The campaign of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton also alleges that the Russian government is responsible for the recent hack of campaign chairman John Podesta’s e-mails. She has claimed that the theft of the records proves that Russian intelligence is attempting to help her opponent, Republican Donald Trump, defeat her in next month’s election.
Last Friday, Top House Democrats called on the FBI to inspect the presidential campaign of GOP nominee Donald Trump for possible involvement in the breach.
“Hysteria started over the [allegation] that this is in the interests of Russia,” Putin added, according to the Interfax news agency. “But nothing in it is in the interests of Russia, while the hysteria is merely caused by the fact that somebody needs to divert the attention of the American people from the essence of what was exposed by the hackers.”
Also, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov dismissed the claims of Russia trying to interfere in the U.S. presidential election as “ridiculous.”
“It’s flattering, of course, to get this kind of attention – for a regional power, as President Obama called us some time ago,”Lavrov said in an interview with CNN. “Now everybody in the United States is saying that it is Russia which is running the [US] presidential debate,” he said, adding, “we have not seen a single fact, a single proof.”
Source: NBC News