US considers cyber action against Russia NEW YORK: American intelligence officials say Obama administration is contemplating an unprecedented cyber covert action against Russia in retaliation for alleged Russian interference in the American presidential election, NBC news reported on Saturday.
In an echo of Cold-War era current and former officials with direct knowledge of the situation say CIA has been asked to deliver options to the White House for a wide-ranging “clandestine” cyber operation designed to harass and “embarrass” the Kremlin leadership.
NBC news said 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. Former intelligence officials told NBC News that the agency had gathered reams of documents that could expose unsavory tactics by Putin.
Vice-President Joe Biden told NBC news reporter 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.”
When asked if the American public will know a message was sent, the vice-president replied, “Hope not.”
Retd Admiral James Stavridis told NBC News’ Cynthia McFadden that the US should attack Russia’s ability to censor its internal internet traffic and expose the financial dealings of Putin and his associates.
“It’s well known that there’s great deal of offshore money moved outside of Russia from oligarchs,” he said. “It would be very embarrassing if that was revealed and that would be a proportional response to what we’ve seen” in Russia’s alleged hacks and leaks targeting US public opinion.