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U.S. Intel Chief: Russia ‘Curtailed’ Hacking of U.S. Targets

Russian cyber attacks on US political and commercial targets, including hacks of internal Democratic Party emails, have been “curtailed” since Washington publicly accused Moscow, US intelligence chief James Clapper said Thursday.

Russian cyber attacks on US political and commercial targets, including hacks of internal Democratic Party emails, have been “curtailed” since Washington publicly accused Moscow, US intelligence chief James Clapper said Thursday.

Clapper told a congressional hearing that the formal accusation and threat of retaliation by senior US officials on October 7 appeared to have achieved the goal of cutting off the activity.

“It may have had the desired effect, since after the issue of the statement and the communication took place between our government and the Russian government, it seemed to curtail the cyber activity that the Russians previously were engaged in,” he said.

Russian hacking came to the forefront after Wikileaks began publishing in July emails from the Democratic National Committee that embarrassed presidential nominee Hillary Clinton as she battled now President-elect Donald Trump ahead of the November 8 election.

After more than two months of such leaks, the Department of Homeland Security and Office of the Director of National Intelligence early last month formally accused the Russian government of interfering with the election.

“We believe, based on the scope and sensitivity of these efforts, that only Russia’s senior-most officials could have authorized these activities,” the joint statement said.

A US administration official, speaking anonymously, subsequently raised the threat of retaliation.

“We will take action to protect our interests, including in cyberspace, and we will do so at a time and place of our choosing,” the official said.

“The public should not assume that they will necessarily know what actions have been taken or what actions we will take.”

Clapper said Thursday that the hacking was part of longstanding practices by Moscow “going back to the Soviet Union era.”

The Russians “have a very active and aggressive capability to conduct so-called hybrid warfare,” he said.

“I anticipate it will continue,” he added.

Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence since 2010, told the hearing he had submitted his resignation late Wednesday to make way for a new appointee by the incoming Trump administration.

The 75-year-old Clapper will leave on January 20, the day of Trump’s inauguration. Some had anticipated he would stay on in the job for another term.

Related: U.S. Vows Response to Russian Hack at ‘Time and Place of our Choosing’

Related: Hacking of DNC Raises Fears of Cyber Attack on U.S. Election

Related: US Election – Official Probe Slams Clinton’s Private Email Use 

 

Related: 55 Million Exposed After Hack of Philippine Election Site

Written By

AFP 2023

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