With the U.S preseidential elections just around the corner, the current Obama-led government administration has officially accussed Russia of meddling with the country’s affairs. It was senior Russian officials who ordered the recent hacking of computers of Democratic National Committee and other intelligence agencies, said the govt. in a formal statement. The allegations, however, have been denied and called yet “another fit of nonsense” by Moscow.
These hacking allegations came into light earlier this year when hackers hit the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee websites with cyber attacks. Though, the situation only further escalated when they posted the private and embarrassing internal emails on the interwebs. Just prior to the Democratic National Convention, more than 19,000 internal emails from officials got leaked online on WikiLeaks.
Thus, the claims that’ve been put forth in a joint statement from the the Department of Homeland Security and the Director of National Security came due to increasing pressure from within the administration and lawmakers. They all wanted the govt. agencies to publicaly name the country (i.e Moscow) responsible for the hacks and hold it accountable for their discord aimed at the 2016 elections. These leaks had forced a multi-faceted outrage, which ultimately led to the resignation of DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
The U.S. Intelligence Community is confident that the Russian Government directed the recent compromises of e-mails from U.S. persons and institutions, including from U.S. political organizations. These thefts and disclosures are intended to interfere with the U.S. 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,
reads the joint statement from the two agencies.
Though the Obama government had previously refrained from formally naming any particular country for the hack but it no going forward full-force with the decision to blame Moscow(and in turn point a finger at Russian President Vladimir Putin and other senior officials). They’ve also reinforced the belief that such an activity is not new for Russians and they’ve used similar tactics to influence public opinion across Europe and Eurasia.
Senior officials of the Homeland Security Committee state that this is a just a first step towards govt. intervention into the whole cyber attack debacle. They further add that the forensic evidence, such as used and reused tools, methods, infrastructure, even unique encryption keys linking the DNC breach to known Russian operations is quite strong. The White House is currently thinking over potential responses, and no official recommendation has been presented to the president.
Russia must face serious consequences. Moscow orchestrated these hacks because [Russian President Vladimir] Putin believes Soviet-style aggression is worth it. The United States must upend Putin’s calculus with a strong diplomatic, political, cyber and economic response,
says Ben Sasse(R-Neb.), a member of the Homeland Security Committee. While Dmitry Peskov, press secretary for Putin dissed the U.S administration by saying,
This is some sort of nonsense. Every day, Putin’s site gets attacked by tens of thousands of hackers. Many of these attacks can be traced to U.S. territory. It’s not as though we accuse the White House or Langley of doing it each time it happens.
Also, one could see the primary motive behind the email dump leaks could be attributed towards Moscow’s intentions towards electing Trump as the next president. The email dumps only exaggerated tension between Sanders and Clinton supporters, while Trump was still busy making himself act a walking meme. He is also known to harbour immense respect and love for Putin as he believes and openly supports numerous policies endorsed by him.
But, the Obama government after much internal strife and debate has finally put forth its foot in the right direction and take a tig at the alleged perpetrators of the cyber attack. Apart from the statement, there is currently no news from the Russian front. So, the looming question of another cyber attack that might incapacitate the elections in November is the government’s biggest fear.