Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 July 2019

Donald Trump denies report of increasing US attacks on Russia's power grid

While the US has probed the Russian grid since at least 2012, unidentified officials say efforts have become more aggressive in the past year

US President Donald Trump denied a New York Times report saying Washington is increasing digital attacks on Russia's electric power grid. EPA
US President Donald Trump denied a New York Times report saying Washington is increasing digital attacks on Russia's electric power grid. EPA

US President Donald Trump accused The New York Times of "a virtual act of treason" on Saturday after the publication reported Washington is increasing digital attacks on Russia's electric power grid.

Current and former government officials have described the classified deployment of American computer code inside Russia's power grid and other targets.

While the US has probed the Russian grid since at least 2012, the Trump administration has taken up an offensive strategy with the deployment of US computer code inside the grid and other targets, the newspaper said. An unidentified senior intelligence official told the Times the offensive effort has become far more aggressive over the past year.

Washington's actions are intended as a warning to Russian President Vladimir Putin but also to leave the US poised to conduct cyber strikes in the event of a major conflict between the two countries, the newspaper said.

Mr Trump tweeted that the accusations were "NOT TRUE," calling the media "corrupt" and repeating accusations that journalists are "the enemy of the people."

"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," he wrote.

"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."

The Times report came after an investigation by US special counsel Robert Mueller of alleged hacking by Russia's intelligence agency and social media manipulation by Russia's Internet Research Agency to benefit Trump's election campaign.

Updated: June 16, 2019 03:34 PM

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