Published: Mon, June 17, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Trump calls newspaper report on Russia power grid 'treason'

Trump calls newspaper report on Russia power grid 'treason'

Officials did not give details to Trump of their plans to escalate USA cyber attacks on Russia, particularly the decision to put "implants" inside the Russian power grid, the NYT reported.

"Do you believe that the failing New York Times just did a story stating that the United States is substantially increasing cyber attacks on Russian Federation?"

The US is escalating cyber attacks on Russia's electric power grid and has placed potentially crippling malware inside the Russian system, The New York Times reports.

The Times also cited National Security Council officials as saying they had no security concerns about the newspaper's reporting on the digital incursions, perhaps indicating that some of the intrusions were meant to be noticed by the Russians.

Two admin officials claimed Trump had not been briefed "in any detail" about the alleged efforts to place "implants" a kind of software code, inside the Russian grid.

"Do you believe that the Failing New York Times just did a story stating that the United States is substantially increasing Cyber Attacks on Russian Federation. 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", he wrote.

No matter what happens this election cycle or the next, the one thing we can be assured of, is that Donald Trump will not go quietly.

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House Intelligence Committee chair Adam Schiff said Sunday that he was disturbed by a report that officials avoid giving President Donald Trump full briefings on cybersecurity plans involving Russian Federation.

The newspaper, basing its reports on three months of interviews with current and former government officials, said this campaign was conducted under new cyber authorities granted by Trump and Congress.

The New York Times' Communications Twitter account responded to Trump's tweets, saying that "accusing the press of treason is unsafe".

The article says that the administration declined to describe the specific actions it was taking under the new powers that were granted a year ago by the White House and Congress to the special US Cyber Command, the arm of the Pentagon that specialises in the military's offensive and defensive cyber operations. It's permitted by a new law passed last summer which approves "clandestine military activity" in cyberspace to "deter, safeguard or defend" against attacks.

While the USA has placed surveillance probes into Russia's electric grid for years, the deployment of more aggressive malware marked a serious escalation, officials said.

New cyber laws were granted to the U.S. Cyber Command by the White House and Congress previous year allowing such "clandestine military activity" in cyberspace to go ahead without the president's approval.

Gen Nakasone and White House national security adviser John Bolton declined, through spokesmen, to answer questions from the Times about the incursions, and the White House did not respond to CNN's request for comment.

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