: US considers sanctions against Russia in response to hacks of Democratic groups - WSJ

13:11 Aug. 12, 2016

US considers sanctions against Russia in response to hacks of Democratic groups - WSJ

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., speaks at a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Aug. 11, 2016 (AP Photo)

Levying sanctions would require White House to publicly accuse Russia or Russian-backed hackers

US officials are discussing whether to respond to computer breaches of Democratic Party organizations with economic sanctions against Russia, but they haven't reached a decision about how to proceed, according to several people familiar with the matter.

Levying sanctions would require the White House to publicly accuse Russia, or Russian-backed hackers, of committing the breach and then leaking embarrassing information. The US has frequently opted not to publicly release attribution for cyber-assaults, though Washington did openly accuse North Korea of carrying out an embarrassing breach of Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc. in 2014.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and US intelligence agencies have been studying the Democratic hacks, and several officials have signalled it was almost certainly carried out by Russian-affiliated hackers. Russia has denied any involvement, but several cybersecurity companies have also released reports tying the breach to Russian hackers.

Read also US intelligence chief says Russia behind DNC hack in bid to influence elections

On Thursday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) told reporters, regarding a breach of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which spearheads the Democratic House campaigns: "I know for sure it is the Russians" and "we are assessing the damage."

She added, "This is an electronic Watergate…The Russians broke in. Who did they give the information to? I don't know. Who dumped it? I don't know."

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