US-Russia tensions: CIA prepping for possible cyber attack against Russia - NBC News

10:11 Oct. 15, 2016

CIA prepping for possible cyber attack against Russia - NBC News

The The CIA seal is seen displayed before President Barack Obama speaks at the CIA Headquarters in Langley, Va., Wednesday, April 13, 2016 (AP Photo)

Covert action could be taken in retaliation for alleged Russian interference in the American presidential election

The Obama administration is contemplating an unprecedented cyber covert action against Russia in retaliation for alleged Russian interference in the American presidential election, US intelligence officials told NBC News.

Read also: US accuses Russia of cyber attacks - BBC

Current and former officials with direct knowledge of the situation say the CIA has been asked to deliver options to the White House for a wide-ranging 'clandestine' cyber operation designed to harass and 'embarrass' the Kremlin leadership.

The sources did not elaborate on the exact measures the CIA was considering, but said the agency had already begun opening cyber doors, selecting targets and making other preparations for an operation.

Former intelligence officers told NBC News that the agency had gathered reams of documents that could expose unsavory tactics by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Read also: Obama prepares ‘proportional' response to Russian hacker attacks

Vice President Joe Biden told 'Meet the Press' moderator Chuck Todd on Friday that 'we're sending a message' to Putin and that 'it will be at the time of our choosing, and under the circumstances that will have the greatest impact.'

When asked if the American public will know a message was sent, the vice president replied, 'Hope not.'

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