US intelligence officials say they are ‘confident’ the hack was authorised by ‘Russia’s senior-most officials’
US intelligence officials have for the first time officially blamed “senior” Russian government figures for recent politically motivated hacking incidents, including the release of emails stolen from the Democratic National Committee (DNC).
“The US intelligence community is confident that the Russian Government directed the recent compromises,” the US’ Department of Homeland Security and office of the director of national intelligence said in a joint statement.
The disclosures are “consistent with the methods and motivations of Russian-directed efforts” and are intended to “interfere with the US election process”, the groups stated, comparing the incidents to similar efforts in Europe and Eurasia.
“We believe, based on the scope and sensitivity of these efforts, that only Russia’s senior-most officials could have authorised these activities,” the groups stated.
The officials also warned they have seen scans of election-related systems originating from servers based in Russia, but said it couldn’t definitively say the activity was ordered by the country’s government.
Voting system hack risk
They said altering election results by hacking electronic voting systems would be “extremely difficult” due to the decentralised nature of the systems and the protections in place.
Russia was previously linked to the hack only unofficially, but the country has denied any involvement.
Relations between the US and Russia have deteriorated over the past two years over disputes in the Ukraine and Syria, amongst other factors.
Russian hackers last month released stolen medical data on top US athletes amidst an ongoing international doping row.
Politically motivated Turkish hackers last month published a trove of emails they claimed to have stolen from the personal email accounts of a senior minister in the country after placing malware on his iPad.
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