Washington: United States President Donald Trump has refuted the claims made by The New York Times that the US was ramping up cyber attacks on Russia’s electric power grid as a sign of warning to the country’s President Vladimir Putin.
In a couple of tweets on Saturday, Trump deemed the newspaper article “a virtual act of Treason” written without “the slightest thought of consequence”.
“Do you believe that the Failing New York Times just did a story stating that the United States is substantially increasing Cyber Attacks on Russia. This is a virtual act of Treason by a once great paper so desperate for a story, any story, even if bad for our Country,” Trump wrote on Twitter.
“ALSO, NOT TRUE! Anything goes with our Corrupt News Media today. They will do, or say, whatever it takes, with not even the slightest thought of consequence! These are true cowards and without doubt, THE ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE!” He added.
The New York Times article claims that the US has placed a malware inside the Russian systems operating the nation’s power grid so as to conduct cyber attacks, should a conflict arise between the two countries in the future.
The article adds that the US President himself has not been briefed about the details of the “implants” inside the Russian Grid, in fear that he might countermand the operation or discuss it with the foreign officials
“Two administration officials said they believed Mr. Trump had not been briefed in any detail about the steps to place “implants” — software code that can be used for surveillance or attack — inside the Russian grid,” said the report.
“Pentagon and intelligence officials described broad hesitation to go into detail with Mr. Trump about operations against Russia for concern over his reaction — and the possibility that he might countermand it or discuss it with foreign officials, as he did in 2017 when he mentioned a sensitive operation in Syria to the Russian foreign minister,” it added.
Additionally, Trump’s National Security Adviser John Bolton had recently said that the US was now taking a broader view of the potential digital targets as part of an effort “to say to Russia, or anybody else that’s engaged in cyberoperations against us, ‘You will pay a price.'”