The United States officially accused the Russia government on Friday of trying to interfere in the presidential election by hacking into the computer networks of political organisations such as the Democratic National Committee.
“The US Intelligence Community…is confident that the Russian Government directed the recent compromises of e-mails from US persons and institutions, including from US political organisations,” the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Department of Homeland Security said in a joint statement.
It added: “We believe, based on the scope and sensitivity of these efforts, that only Russia’s seniormost officials could have authorised these activities.”
The statement did not name any Russian official or government entity that the US suspects of carrying out the hacking. But it named DCLeaks.com, WikiLeaks and Guccifer 2.0 “online persona” as hosts of some of the hacked material “consistent with the methods and motivations of Russian-directed efforts”.
The Obama administration is under pressure to order punitive measures and has mulled economic sanctions, according to reports, but a decision has not been taken yet.
Moscow dismissed the accusation as “nonsense”. Dmitry Peskov, press secretary to Russian President Vladimir Putin, said, “Every day, Putin’s site gets attacked by tens of thousands of hackers. Many of these attacks can be traced to US territory. It’s not as though we accuse the White House or Langley of doing it each time it happens.”