WaPo: WH Prepares To Announce Plan To Punish Russia For Election Hacking

The Obama administration will announce - perhaps as soon as Thursday - retaliatory measures against Russian Federation for its suspected meddling in the USA presidential election.

"The president has talked before about the significant capabilities that the US government has to both defend our systems in the United States but also carry out offensive operations in other countries", Earnest said in October, the New York Times reported. Trump struck a pro-Russian tone on the campaign trail, and his nomination of Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson, a longtime friend of Putin's, for secretary of state could indicate the president-elect wants to ally with Russia.

"Based on uniform intelligence assessments, the Russians were responsible for hacking the DNC and that as a outcome, it is important for us to review all elements of that and to make sure that we are preventing that kind of interference from cyber attacks in the future", Obama said, according to CBS News.

Ellen Nakashima writes Russian Federation denied involvement in the cyber breach related to the US election interference.

Regarding the sanctions, the White House is working to adjust a 2015 executive order that gives the president the authority to respond to a cyberthreat from foreign countries, according to the report.

Russian officials have suggested they expect cyber-attacks to target their financial sector primarily, and indeed a previous round of cyber-attacks hit Russia during the week of the U.S. elections, targeting banks, though it did limited damage.

The administration's announcement comes after months of internal debate over how to respond to Russian cyber activity that USA law enforcement and intelligence agencies have watched take place for over a year. The hackers found it easier to carry on their operation, due to the turmoil created by the allegations against Hillary Clinton, regarding her private emails and Clinton Foundation.

Leo Taddeo, a former Federal Bureau of Investigation senior cyber official and now chief security officer for Cryptzone, says the hacks were only part of the story.

Administration officials, including the president himself in December, have said for months that the government would also act outside the public eye, and do so "at a time and place of our choosing".

"Cyber was the tool to use in the disinformation war", he says.

Another US official briefed on the American government response says Obama administration officials failed to see what the Russian goal was.

Prior to November's election, the Obama administration warned Russian Federation via diplomatic channels, according to the Post.

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