White House weighs Russia sanctions over DNC hack

Although a late-July Wikileaks release of emails and associated documents damaging to the Democratic National Committee (DNC) is claimed to be the work of hacktivist Guccifer 2.0, top Democrats on Capitol Hill are pushing the Obama Administration to sanction the Russian Federation for their alleged role in the breach.

Russia has vehemently denied involvement in the hacking and release of DNC documents, dismissing claims as “silliness” and “maniacal attempts to exploit the Russian theme in the U.S. election campaign.”

The White House has refused to publicly speculate which country or individual was behind the cyber-attack, but U.S. intelligence agencies investigating the matter have hinted Russia’s Main Intelligence Directorate, the GRU, perpetrated the encroachment.

“When the administration believes it has sufficient evidence of attribution, it will make that attribution public as well as consider any other steps necessary,” said California Democrat Adam Schiff, a member of the House Committee on Intelligence.

Addressing reporters Thursday, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said she was unaware of how such an attack could occur, but was adamant it was the Russians behind the attack:

“I know for sure it is the Russians; we are assessing the damage.”

“This is an electronic Watergate…The Russians broke in. Who did they give the information to? I don’t know. Who dumped it? I don’t know”

Although the White House has no known plans to immediately impose sanctions, authorization to retaliate against cyber intrusions could come soon:

“Our tools now include an executive order authorizing sanctions against those that engage in significant malicious cyber activities, such as harming our nation’s critical infrastructure – our transportation systems or power grid,” said White House counterterrorism aide Lisa Monaco last month.

 

[RT News] [Photo courtesy null-byte.wonderhowto.com via Infysec]