US vows response to Russian hack at ‘time and place of our choosing’

The assertion against Russia comes with relations already frayed over NATO defenses and stalled efforts to end the bloody civil war in Syria. (AP)

US officials formally accused the Russian government of trying to “interfere” with the American presidential election, and vowed to respond at an undisclosed time and place.

The assertion against Russia comes with relations already frayed over NATO defenses and stalled efforts to end the bloody civil war in Syria.

A joint statement from the Department of Homeland Security and Office of the Director of National Intelligence on Friday was the first official accusation by Washington against Moscow in the spate of cyber-attacks, although many analysts had said the hacks appeared to be from Russia.

A US administration official said Washington would respond to the cyber-attacks, without offering details.

“We will take action to protect our interests, including in cyberspace, and we will do so at a time and place of our choosing,” the official said.

“The public should not assume that they will necessarily know what actions have been taken or what actions we will take.”

The official statement said the US intelligence community “is confident that the Russian government directed the recent compromises of emails from US persons and institutions, including from US political organizations.”

“We believe, based on the scope and sensitivity of these efforts, that only Russia’s senior-most officials could have authorized these activities,” it added.

Kremlin calls US hacking accusations ‘rubbish’

The Kremlin labeled the allegations as “rubbish.”

“Every day (President Vladimir) Putin’s website gets attacked by several tens of thousands of hackers,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Russian news agency Interfax.

“A lot of these attacks are traced to the territory of the USA, but we do not blame the White House or Langley each time.”

The statement, however, stopped short of accusing Russia in the recent cyber-attacks on state election databases.

It was not immediately clear how Washington would respond in the matter. Officials have in the past said any cyber-attacks on important US institutions would prompt a response, which could take the form of diplomatic or economic sanctions, or possibly cyber measures.

The Kremlin labelled allegations by the United States that the Russian government was behind the hacking of American political organizations “rubbish.”

“This is again some sort of rubbish,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov yesterday told Russian news agency Interfax. “Every day (President Vladimir) Putin’s website gets attacked by several tens of thousands of hackers.

A lot of these attacks are traced to the territory of the USA, but we do not blame the White House or Langley each time.”

The statement was the first official accusation by Washington officials against Moscow in the spate of cyber-attacks, although many analysts had said the hacks appeared to be from Russia.

The Kremlin has previously strenuously denied previous claims that Russian officials had anything to do with the attacks on organizations in the US.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:49 - GMT 06:49
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