(CNN) – Top intelligence officials including the director of national intelligence are directly blaming Russia for hacking the election. U.S. intel chiefs on capitol hill testified today about how Russian leadership is behind cyber-threats that are on-going Against the U.S. and other countries.
A stark warning from u-s intelligence officials. Vladimir Putin’s hackers remain very aggressive and will continue to target America. They’ll probe for intelligence in cyber-space, to give Russia’s military the advantage.
U.S. officials telling CNN, Russian hackers are working relentlessly, around the clock, trying to breach America’s cyber-defenses. America’s top intelligence official asked a dire question in the senate today, about Putin’s cyber-warriors targeting U.S. allies.
Sen. Jack Reed, Ranking Member, Armed Services Committee said, “These activities are ongoing now in Europe, as Europe prepares for elections. Is that a fair assumption?”
James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence said, “It is. They would very much like to drive wedges between us and Western Europe.”
British officials recently said the kremlin’s to blame for a series of cyber-attacks, fake-news blasts and other attempts to de-stabilize the British government.
Putin’s aides dismiss the claim. U.S. officials tell us, Putin’s hackers have been aggressively targeting Ukraine including one crippling attack on the civilian power grid there.
Sean Kanuck, Former National Intelligence Officer for Cyber said, “It interrupted energy-grid activities at several companies for a matter of hours.”
Putin’s army of hackers working in teams nicknamed by American investigators, “cozy bear” and “fancy bear” are considered among the most proficient in the world.
The cyber-security firm ‘Crowdstrike’ says they’re the ones who targeted the u-s elections and they’re tied to Russia’s military and intelligence services. Analysts say they’ve emboldened Putin.
Masha Gessen, Author, “The Man without a Face” said, “Vladimir Putin at this point is acting at this point like he won the U.S. presidential election. He feels like the most powerful man in the world.”
Still Putin and his inner-circle tonight are said to be bracing for America’s response. Issuing new plans to guard against cyber-attacks. U.S. officials have told CNN, they’re looking at that as a possible option. How could America retaliate?
Jason Healey, Cyber Security Expert, Columbia University said, “The U.S. Cyber-Command at Fort Meade has a team that’s looking in- looking at what the Russians are doing- not to collect intelligence on it, but to be ready to disrupt it in case the President ever gave the order.”
Sean Kanuck, a former top u-s intelligence official who analyzed Russia’s hacking operations says America’s cyber-warriors could hit back hard.
Kanuck said, “Reveal details of the perpetrators on the other side, ranging from their tools and techniques to the computers and IP addresses they’re using, to their malware signatures, even to their physical identities in certain cases.”
Kanuck also says- u-s cyber-warriors could hack personal information that would embarrass Putin and his cronies. However, that could lead Russians to escalate and target American energy, banking and telecommunications networks. Intelligence leaders are set to brief president-elect trump about hacking information Friday.