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US has plan to cyberattack Russia if it interferes in midterms: report

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trump putin
The
US has a secret plan to launch a cyberattack on Russia if it
directly interferes in the midterm elections. Here, Presidents
Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin in Helsinki in
July.


AP
Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais



  • The Department of Defense and US intelligence community
    reportedly have a secret plan for a cyberattack on Russia if
    Moscow directly interferes with the midterms next
    week.
  • US military hackers have been given permission to
    access Russian networks for the attack, The Center for Public
    Integrity reported on Friday.
  • For the plan to go ahead, Russia would have to assert
    “malign influence” on the elections, such as tamper with voting
    registration and vote recording.
  • Russia is accused of spreading far-right propaganda on
    Facebook in an attempt to influence the midterms.

The US has prepared to launch a cyberattack on Russia if it
directly interferes with the midterm elections next week,
according to
a report from the Center for Public Integrity (CPI)
.

The Department of Defense and US intelligence community secretly
blueprinted an offensive cyberattack on Russia if it is found to
electronically interfere with the elections on November 6, the
report said.

It cites unnamed current and former senior US officials who know
about the plan.

Details of what the plan would involve, or how it would work, are
scant. But it claimed that US military hackers have been given
the necessary permission to access Russian networks to carry out
an attack.

To trigger the attack, Russia would have to directly interfere
with the midterm elections, the report said. This would include
actions like attempting to tamper with voting registration or
vote tallies.

In other words, Russia would have to unleash something more than
“malign influence” on the elections, such as “trying to sway
peoples’ opinion or the way people might vote,” an unnamed senior
administration told reporters on a call on Wednesday, as cited by
the CPI.

The report suggests that the US is further integrating
cyberwarfare with its regular military strategies, and that its
intelligence community is growing increasingly concerned with
offensive cyberattacks on the US.


pentagon building dod 2010 mariordo camila ferreira mario duran ccbysa3
The
Pentagon building pictured in 2010.


Mariordo
Camila Ferreira and Mario Duran/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA
3.0)



Russia has allegedly attempted to spread far-right propaganda on
Facebook in an attempt to influence the midterms already.

Earlier this year, a Russian woman was accused of
orchestrating a $35 million scheme
to create thousands of
fake social media and email accounts, in order to post divisive
left- and right-wing memes and talking points on Facebook and
Twitter.


Read more:

‘It’s like playing whack-a-mole’: A string of recent revelations
paints a stark picture of Russia’s ongoing campaign to meddle in
the 2018 midterms 

The alleged plan was organized under an executive order signed by
President Donald Trump earlier this year, which
eases the rules on the deployment of digital weapons
for
national security.

It was designed to allow Defense Secretary Jams Mattis
and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats to approve
retaliatory strikes without the approval of other government
authorities, the CPI said. Most of the powers outlined in the
executive order remain classified.

John Bolton, Trump’s national security adviser,
told reporters
in September: “For any nation that’s taking
cyberactivity against the United States, they should expect …
we will respond offensively as well as defensively.”

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