America’s CIA has reportedly geared itself up to mount a retaliatory cyber counterstrike against Russia amid reports that the Kremlin had orchestrated a series of hacks against the Democratic National Committee in recent months.
Any such move would represent a major escalation in the White House’s cyber warfare strategy which has thus far focused on bolstering the nation’s defences against attack rather than offensive capabilities of its own.
Rather than cripple key infrastructure such measures are intended to ‘harass and embarrass’ the Russian leadership by releasing a trove of documents that could expose the ‘unsavory tactics’ of the Kremlin.
Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper last week published his assessment that the Russian state had orchestrated a series of thefts and disclosures to the detriment of De3mocrats in a bid to ‘interfere with the US election process’.
Whilst the CIA has the capacity to act it is by no means certain that it will do so amid fears that such a move could provoke a fresh wave of retaliatory action from Putin.