The Washington Post reports:
The Obama administration on Friday officially accused Russia of carrying out a wide-ranging campaign to interfere with the 2016 elections, including by hacking the computers of the Democratic National Committee and other political officials.
The denunciation, made by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Department of Homeland Security, came as pressure was growing from within the administration and some lawmakers to hold Moscow accountable for a set of actions apparently aimed at sowing discord around the election.
The DNC publicly disclosed the intrusions in June, saying their investigation determined Russian government hackers were behind it. That was followed shortly afterwards by a major leak of DNC emails, some so embarrassing that they forced the resignation of the DNC chairwoman, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, on the eve of the Democratic national convention.
The administration also blamed Moscow for the hack of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the subsequent leak of private email addresses and cell phone numbers of Democratic lawmakers. A series of other leaks of hacked material followed, all of which are suspected of being conducted by Russia-sponsored hackers.More from NBC News:
“We believe, based on the scope and sensitivity of these efforts, that only Russia’s senior-most officials could have authorized these activities,” the Department of Homeland Security and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence said in an extraordinary gloves-off statement.
“Such activity is not new to Moscow — the Russians have used similar tactics and techniques across Europe and Eurasia, for example, to influence public opinion there.”And from CNBC:
U.S. intelligence officials are “confident” that Russian government directed these attacks on American political organizations, the Department of Homeland Security and Office of the Director of National Intelligence on Election Security said in a joint statement.
“The recent disclosures of alleged hacked e-mails on sites like DCLeaks.com and WikiLeaks and by the Guccifer 2.0 online persona are consistent with the methods and motivations of Russian-directed efforts,” the agencies said in a Friday statement.
While this activity is “not new to Moscow,” the U.S. intelligence community and Department of Homeland Security said it would be “extremely difficult” for hackers to actually “alter ballot counts or election results,” because of the “decentralized nature” of the U.S. election system and the “number of protections state and local election officials have in place.”Make the jump here to read the original and more on JMG