U.S. officials are convinced that the Russians are behind the election-centered hacks of sensitive information that could be a ploy to influence our upcoming presidential election. It's quite the accusation, though the Obama administration formally accused Russia of being behind these data breaches last week. Now, the CIA is reportedly cooking up some plan to deliver a cyber strike against our old Cold War adversary (via NBC News):
The Obama administration is contemplating an unprecedented cyber covert action against Russia in retaliation for alleged Russian interference in the American presidential election, U.S. intelligence officials told NBC News.
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.
The 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.
Vice President Joe Biden told "Meet the Press" moderator Chuck Todd on Friday that "we're sending a message" to Putin and that "it will be at the time of our choosing, and under the circumstances that will have the greatest impact."
When asked if the American public will know a message was sent, the vice president replied, "Hope not."
So much for the Russian reset under Clinton and Obama, huh?