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Iran Press TV

US's planned cyberattack on Russia will be international crime: Kremlin

Iran Press TV

Tuesday, 09 March 2021 3:49 PM

The Kremlin has described as worrying a US media report indicating that the United States plans to mount cyberattacks against Russia, stressing that such an act would be an international crime.

"This is alarming information because a rather influential American news outlet admits the possibility of such cyberattacks," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday, referring to a report by The New York Times.

"Actually, this is nothing but international cybercrime and, of course, the fact that this news outlet acknowledges the possibility of the US being involved in this cybercrime is a reason for our extreme concern," Peskov added.

The Times reported on Sunday that the United States had been preparing to take action against Russia after concluding it was likely involved in an alleged cyberattack that affected government systems and domestic companies.

The first of the US actions could come in the next three weeks, unnamed officials told the Times.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki in a statement confirmed that the US would take "a mix of actions" in response to the alleged cyberattack by Russia.

Peskov said, "The Russian state has never had anything to do with cybercrimes and had never been involved in cyberterrorism."

In December last year, Russia dismissed allegations that hackers working for the Kremlin had broken into computer systems at the US Treasury and Commerce Departments, saying Moscow had nothing to do with the alleged snooping.

The Russian Foreign Ministry described the allegations as another unfounded attempt by the US media to blame Moscow for cyberattacks against American agencies.

This is not the first time such allegations are made against Russia. US intelligence agencies had previously claimed that Moscow meddled in the 2016 US presidential election with a campaign of email hacking and online propaganda aimed at hurting Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and promoting Republican Donald Trump.

American intelligence officials had also said Russia sought to meddle in the 2020 US presidential election by trying to get Trump re-elected.

Russia denied all of those allegations.

In November 2020, The New York Times ran a story that said the US had significantly scaled up its cyber warfare against Russia, China, and Iran under the pretext of deflecting alleged interference from the trio in its 2020 presidential election.

In September last year, Russian President Vladimir Putin called for an agreement between Russia and the United States to expand their cooperation in the field of cybersecurity and prevent interference in one another's elections.

Putin described the risk of large-scale confrontation in cyberspace as one of the greatest challenges of the time, proposing that the two countries reach an agreement to prevent major cyberspace incidents.



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