Kremlin: Russia faces unprecedented cyber-threats from the US
US aggressiveness is growing, and threats to carry out cyberattacks against Russia are unprecedented, presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said, adding that Russia will take “precautionary measures.”
“The fact is, US unpredictability and aggression keep growing, and such threats against Moscow and our country’s leadership are unprecedented, because the threat is being announced at the level of the US Vice President,” Peskov told RIA Novosti. “Of course, given such an aggressive, unpredictable line, we have to take measures to protect our interests, somehow hedge the risks,” he said, adding that “such unpredictability is dangerous for the whole world.”
US Vice President Joe Biden said on Friday that Washington is ready to respond to hack attacks allegedly conducted by Russia and designed to interfere with the upcoming US elections.
“Why haven’t we sent a message yet to Putin,” Chuck Todd, host of the “Meet the Press” show on NBC, asked Joe Biden.
“We are sending a message [to Putin]… We have a capacity to do it, and…”
"He’ll known it?” Todd interfered.
“He’ll know it. It will be at the time of our choosing, and under the circumstances that will have the greatest impact,” the US vice president replied.
READ MORE: 'Obama cyber saber-rattling against Russia possible ploy to boost Clinton camp' (Op-Ed)
His threats coincided with an NBC News report citing “current and former officials,” claiming that the CIA is planning a “clandestine” cyberattack on Russia in retaliation for its alleged efforts to influence the US elections against Hillary Clinton. The “wide-ranging operation” is meant to “embarrass” Russia’s leadership, NBC News reported.
The report claimed to have direct knowledge of the situation, saying the CIA had been tasked with providing options to the White House.
WikiLeaks, however, has expressed doubt over the seriousness of the report about the “clandestine” cyberwar on Russia.
“If the US ‘clandestine’ pending cyberwar on Russia was serious: 1) it would not have been announced 2) it would be the NSA [National Security Agency] and not the CIA,” WikiLeaks wrote on Twitter.
READ MORE: US gov’t officially accuses Russia of political hacks; Moscow calls it ‘nonsense’
Accusations against Russia have become louder in recent days with WikiLeaks releasing thousands of the so called “Podesta emails,” exposing Hillary Clinton’s connections to Wall Street and controversial views on Syria, among other things. Some mainstream media outlets were quick to accuse the Kremlin of teaming up with WikiLeaks, allegedly providing it with massive amounts of inside scoops to post. The evidence-free allegations have been denied both by Moscow and by WikiLeaks.
Responding to accusations last week, the Russian presidential press secretary mentioned that “tens of thousands of hackers” try to break into the sites of Russian officials on a daily basis, but this never prompted Moscow to point a finger at Washington.