16th October 2016: According to NBC, The Obama administration is contemplating a series of retaliation cyber actions against Russia in response to alleged Russian interference in the American presidential election, U.S. intelligence officials told NBC News.
Targeting Russian leadership, officials claim the response is designed to protect the U.S. election system and insure that Russian hackers can’t interfere with the November vote, officials say.
Current and former officials with direct knowledge of the situation say the CIA has been asked to deliver options to the White House for a wide-ranging “clandestine” cyber operation designed to harass and “embarrass” the Kremlin leadership.
NBC sources did not elaborate on the exact measures the CIA was considering, but said the agency had already begun opening cyber doors, selecting targets and making other preparations for an operation. Former intelligence officers told NBC News that the agency had gathered reams of documents that could expose unsavory tactics by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
NBC reports claim that the CIA’s cyber operation is being prepared by a team within the CIA’s Center for Cyber Intelligence, documents indicate. According to officials, the team has a staff of hundreds and a budget in the hundreds of millions.
While the National Security Agency is the center for American digital spying, the CIA is the lead agency for covert action and has its own cyber capabilities. It sometimes brings in the NSA and the Pentagon to help, officials say.