Report: U.S. ready for cyberattack on Russia
by Harvest Prude
Posted 6/17/19, 12:23 pm
WASHINGTON—The United States has infiltrated Russia’s power grid and could unleash a cyberattack, The New York Times reported Saturday. According to current and former Trump administration officials interviewed by the Times, the administration has deployed computer code into Russian utility systems that could be activated if Russian hackers attack the U.S. power grid. The article also noted that the operation is part of a wider effort to deter interference in the 2020 U.S. presidential election.
President Donald Trump called the story false in a tweet Saturday and said publishing it was a “virtual act of treason.”
House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., seemed to confirm the report in an interview Sunday on NBC News’ Meet the Press. “If the Russians try to take some action against our elections, or any other country, we are already ready to go after them,” he said. “And it should have happened in 2016. I’m glad that the president’s being aggressive against any foreign country that’s going to try to meddle with our elections.”
Officials interviewed for the report said no security issues were raised by publishing it, the Times noted, adding that some Trump administration officials were unsure whether the president had been extensively briefed about the operation.
Defense and intelligence officials have warned that Russia will likely try to influence a major U.S. election again, and U.S. Cyber Command has considered the possibility that the country might try to cause blackouts in key states to disrupt the 2020 presidential election, the Times reported.
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Harvest is a reporter for WORLD based in Washington, D.C.