US plans cyberattacks and new sanctions in response to hacking attributed to Russia

The New York Times says US “counterstrikes” will not be overt, but Russian leadership, intelligence and the military will learn about them

The New York Times on Sunday, citing U.S. administration sources, revealed that the U.S. is planning a series of cyberattacks on Russian domestic systems over the next three weeks in response to a hacking attack attributed to Russia through software firm SolarWinds

The publication claims that the American “counterstrikes” will not be overt, but Russian leadership, intelligence and the military will become aware of them. According to the newspaper’s interlocutors, the hacks will be accompanied by economic sanctions. In addition, US President Joe Biden intends to sign an executive order to strengthen the protection of government computer systems to prevent future cyberattacks.

“US intelligence claims that Russia is behind the cyberattack through software (software) firm SolarWinds: in March 2020, hackers managed to inject a virus into the Orion update, downloaded and then used by thousands of the company’s customers. Among them were US government agencies and more than 400 major US businesses”, –  it said.

Russian representatives at the highest level have categorically rejected Washington’s version of Moscow’s involvement in such actions. Russian presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov said that Moscow was not involved in the hacking attacks on US government institutions and companies. In his words, any accusations of Russian involvement “are absolutely unfounded and are rather a continuation of the blind Russophobia that is resorted to in all incidents”.

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