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U.S. Accuses Russian Hackers for Interfering with Presidential Elections

By Victor Thomson , Oct 07, 2016 11:22 PM EDT

On Friday, Oct. 7, the United States officially accused the Russian government of trying to interfere with the upcoming presidential elections by hacking political sites.

The U.S. Blames Russia For Hack Attacks

According to NPR, Russia is officially blamed by the U.S. for trying to meddle with this year's election process by hacking computers used by various political organizations, including the Democratic National Committee. The charge came in an official statement released on Friday by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Department of Homeland Security. The joint statement said that, based on certain proofs, the U.S. intelligence community believes that the Russian government is behind the recent compromise of e-mails from U.S. institutions and persons.

Chicago Tribune reports that the hacking claim comes to challenge the already strained relations between the U.S. and Russia. This new setback follows mounting pressure on the Obama administration after U.S. political email accounts and websites were compromised; the U.S. has accused Russia of the hacking . It is still unclear at the moment whether the White House will push new sanctions against Russia following the formal attribution.

Cyber attacks at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the Democratic National Committee are under investigation by federal officials. In at least two states, the election data systems have also been breached. According to the joint statement made by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Department of Homeland Security, only Russia's senior officials could have authorized the cyber attacks, "based on the scope and sensitivity of these efforts."

Russian Position Regarding The Hacking Claims

Russian officials were quick to dismiss the claims. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov declared that the accusations are "some kind of nonsense." He also stated that Russian President Vladimir Putin's website faces "tens of thousands of attacks" every day and many of the attacks can be traced to the U.S., but Russia is not blaming the CIA or the White every time.

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