Trump slams NYT report on U.S. cyber attacks against Russian Federation

Vladimir Smirnov  TASS

Vladimir Smirnov TASS

Saturday's front-page New York Times story on USA cyberpenetration of Russia's power grid strikes us as great news - though you have to get past the Times' painful obsession with dinging President Trump over reporting actual facts.

Under former President Barack Obama, the department had deployed an operation targeting families in the later years.

The US has been probing Russian power systems since 2012, reported the NYT, but was now more interested in finding weaknesses and inserting viruses.

Mr Trump issued new authorities last summer to the United States Cyber Command, which is part of the Pentagon and runs the USA military's defensive and offensive online operations, the Times reports.

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Citing unofficial sources, The New York Times report claimed that the United States has placed a malware inside the Russian systems operating the nation's power grid so as to conduct cyber attacks if a conflict arises between the two countries in the future.

The Times' sources said that the USA has placed potentially devastating malware inside Russian systems both as a warning and as a way to build retaliatory capabilities in the event of a "major conflict. between Washington and Moscow".

"The critical question impossible to know without access to the classified details of the operation is how deep into the Russian grid the United States has bored". We described the article to the government before publication.

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Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said reports that USA cyber-soldiers had put computer viruses on its electrical grid was a "hypothetical possibility". "These are true cowards and without a doubt, THE ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE!"

"Mr. Obama secretly ordered some kind of message-sending action inside the Russian grid, the specifics of which have never become public", reporters David Sanger and Nicole Perlroth wrote. Trump raged on over the weekend about the Times dishonesty.

"The only ones who won't do anything are the Democrats in Congress", he tweeted. "But we're now opening the aperture, broadening the areas we're prepared to act in".

"We see and note such attempts", the Russian security source was quoted as saying in response to the report. The New York Times, Sanger & Co. serve as glorified stenographers, publishing what the military-intelligence wants to make public, not what it wishes to hide.

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