Russian President Vladimir Putin has been publicly accused by U.S. government of a plot to interfere in the presidential election with hacking attacks.
On Friday the U.S. government formally accused Russia of a campaign of cyber attacks against Democratic Party organizations.
In a joint public statement the Department of Homeland Security and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence said it was confident that Russia’s most senior officials had ordered the attacks.
According to the joint statement, “disclosures of alleged hacked e-mails on sites like DCLeaks.com and WikiLeaks and by the Guccifer 2.0 online persona are consistent with the methods and motivations of Russian-directed efforts.”
Breaking: Joint statement from intel director & homeland security attributing recent political hacks to Russian gov pic.twitter.com/W5XziuzI7X
— Shane Harris (@shaneharris) October 7, 2016
The Mail Online reports:
The statement amounts to an accusation that Vladimir Putin ordered interference in the American political system.
It is impossible for such an explosive charge to have been made without authorization from President Obama.
The statement said: ‘The U.S. Intelligence Community (USIC) is confident that the Russian Government directed the recent compromises of e-mails from US persons and institutions, including from US political organizations.
‘We believe, based on the scope and sensitivity of these efforts, that only Russia’s senior-most officials could have authorized these activities.’
It added: ‘It would be extremely difficult for someone, including a nation-state actor, to alter actual ballot counts or election results by cyber attack or intrusion.
‘This assessment is based on the decentralized nature of our election system in this country and the number of protections state and local election officials have in place. States ensure that voting machines are not connected to the Internet, and there are numerous checks and balances as well as extensive oversight at multiple levels built into our election process.’
The statement comes just hours after Secretary of State John Kerry called for Russia to face a war crimes investigation over its actions in Syria “
Moscow dismissed Kerry’s words as “propaganda” intended to distract from US failure to implement the Syrian ceasefire agreement.