The US Presidential election is very close and the US Government doesn’t want any interference from foreign government. Across the last weeks, Washington blamed the Kremlin for a series of cyber attacks against politicians and people involved in the political election.
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Department of Homeland Security have issued a joint security statement to accuse the Russian government of a series of intrusions into the networks of US organizations and state election boards involved in the Presidential Election.
“The U.S. Intelligence Community (USIC) is confident that the Russian Government directed the recent compromises of e-mails from US persons and institutions, including from US political organizations. The recent disclosures of alleged hacked e-mails on sites like DCLeaks.com and WikiLeaks and by the Guccifer 2.0 online persona are consistent with the methods and motivations of Russian-directed efforts. These thefts and disclosures are intended to interfere with the US election process” reads the statement.
“We will take action to protect our interests, including in cyberspace, and we will do so at a time and place of our choosing,” a senior administration official told AFP.
“The public should not assume that they will necessarily know what actions have been taken or what actions we will take.”
The US intelligence is publicly accusing the Russian government of conducting a wave of cyber attacks on American political organizations in order to gather intelligence and destroy the election.
The reference is of course to data leaks of the mysterious hacker Guccifer 2.0 that were “intended to interfere with the US election process.”
“We believe, based on the scope and sensitivity of these efforts, that only Russia’s senior-most officials could have authorized these activities.”
Guccifer 2.0 is the entity behind the attack against the Democratic National Committee (DNC). According to the security company CrowdStrike, the attack wasn’t the result of the action of a lone wolf, instead, two sophisticated Russian espionage groups, COZY BEAR and FANCY BEAR were involved in the cyber espionage operation.
Two weeks ago, the US Vice President Joe Biden during an interview with NBC explained that “message” would be sent to Russian President Vladimir Putin over the alleged hacking.
It is a historical declaration, for the first time in a diplomatic context, a member of a government invoke a cyber attack as a deterrent measure.
“Vice President Joe Biden told “Meet the Press” moderator Chuck Todd on Friday that “we’re sending a message” to Putin and that “it will be at the time of our choosing, and under the circumstances that will have the greatest impact.” reported the NBCnews.
“When asked if the American public will know a message was sent, the vice president replied, “Hope not.“”
According to NBC News, the CIA was preparing a retaliatory cyber attack “designed to harass and ’embarrass’ the Kremlin leadership.”
While cyber security experts, politicians, and military officials are questioning about a proportional response to the alleged Russian interference, the US cyber army has already penetrated Russian electric grid, telecommunications networks and also the Russia’s command systems.
The news was confirmed by a senior intelligence official and top-secret documents obtained by the NBC News
“U.S. military hackers have penetrated Russia’s electric grid, telecommunications networks and the Kremlin’s command systems, making them vulnerable to attack by secret American cyber weapons should the U.S. deem it necessary, according to a senior intelligence official and top-secret documents reviewed by NBC News.” reported the NBC News.
The Kremlin denies any interference with the Presidential Election and officially asked US Government to provide clarifications on the alleged hack into its critical infrastructure and about the intention of Washington to launch a cyber strike in case of alleged interference with the Presidential Election.
“The lack of an official response from the American Administration would indicate the existence of state-sponsored cyber-terrorism in the United States, and in the case of enforcement threats, broadcast through American media, Moscow will have a full right to bring appropriate charges against Washington,” reads a translation of the statement issued by the Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Russian Government slammed Washington for making threats, a couple of weeks ago the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told CNN the hacking claims were “flattering” but baseless, with not a “single fact” to prove it.
“The threats directed against Moscow and our state’s leadership are unprecedented because they are voiced at the level of the US vice president,” said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov. “To the backdrop of this aggressive, unpredictable line, we must take measures to protect (our) interests, to hedge risks.”
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov confirmed the intention of the Russian Government to adopt necessary countermeasures to protect its infrastructure in the face of the increasing “unpredictability and aggressiveness of the United States”.
(Security Affairs – US Presidential Election 2016, DNC hack)