Biden eyes punishments for Russia over suspected role in cyberattack on U.S.

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Joe Biden - The Washington Post via Getty Images

The incoming administration of President-elect Joe Biden is considering several options to punish Russia for its suspected cyberattack, espionage operations against the United States.

Ron Klain, the future head of White House staff said on CBS’ Face the Nation, said that Biden’s response will be beyond the common set of sanctions.

The president-elect’s administration is reportedly focusing on imposing financial sanctions and respective breaches of Russian cyber infrastructure.

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Klain said, “It’s not just sanctions. It’s steps and things we could do to degrade the capacity of foreign actors to engage in this sort of attack.”

In a separate report from Reuters, a person familiar with the matter said the Biden administration’s response will “need to be strong enough to impose a high economic, financial or technological cost on the perpetrators, but avoid an escalating conflict between two nuclear-armed Cold War adversaries.”

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday said Russia was behind a devastating cyberattack on several U.S. government agencies, including cybersecurity company FireEye.

The Kremlin has denied any hand in the hacking campaign conducted in the U.S.

President Donald Trump has claimed that China, instead of Russia, was the one behind the hack. He also claimed that the “Fake News Media” is exaggerating the extent of the hack.

“The Cyber Hack is far greater in the Fake News Media than in actuality. I have been fully briefed and everything is well under control. Russia, Russia, Russia is the priority chant when anything happens because Lamestream is, for mostly financial reasons, petrified of discussing the possibility that it may be China (it may!),” Trump tweeted.

The Biden administration is expected to acquire a better knowledge of U.S. intelligence about the cyber breach before making any move.

The president-elect’s access to presidential intelligence briefings was delayed until about three weeks ago as Pres. Trump pushed to overturn the 2020 presidential election results.

The cyberattack started in March but was only discovered this month.

Many of the targets included federal agencies, companies that contract with governments or think tanks.

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