US prepares to sanction Russia over hack attacks

Updated: Dec 30, 2016, 11:07 IST | Agencies

The Obama administration is planning to announce a series of retaliatory measures against Russia for hacking into US political institutions and individuals and leaking information in an effort to help President-elect Donald Trump and other Republican candidates, two US officials said yesterday

Barack Obama
Barack Obama

Washington: The Obama administration is planning to announce a series of retaliatory measures against Russia for hacking into US political institutions and individuals and leaking information in an effort to help President-elect Donald Trump and other Republican candidates, two US officials said yesterday.

Both officials declined to specify what actions Obama has approved, but said targeted economic sanctions, indictments, leaking information to embarrass Russian officials or oligarchs, and restrictions on Russian diplomats in the US are among steps that have been discussed.

One decision that has been made, they said, is to avoid any moves that exceed the Russian election hacking and risk an escalating cyber conflict.

The FBI, CIA and Office of Director of National Intelligence agree that Russia was behind hacks into Democratic Party organisations and operatives ahead of the November 8 presidential election. There is also agreement, according to US officials, that Russia sought to intervene in the election to help Trump defeat Hillary Clinton. Russia has repeatedly denied the accusations. Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova promised retaliation yesterday against Washington in the event of new sanctions.

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