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Donald Trump asks New York Times to disclose sources that US is ramping up cyber attacks on Russia

File photo: US President Donald Trump. Photograph:( Reuters )

ANI Washington, District of Columbia, United States of America Jun 19, 2019, 06.08 AM (IST)

US President Donald Trump has asked The New York Times to disclose its sources behind the report that claimed that his government was ramping up cyber attacks on Russia's electric power grid as a sign of warning to President Vladimir Putin.

"The story in the @nytimes about the U.S. escalating attacks on Russia's power grid is Fake News, and the Failing New York Times knows it. They should immediately release their sources which, if they exist at all, which I doubt, are phoney. Times must be held fully accountable!" Trump wrote on his official Twitter handle on Monday (local time).

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Citing unofficial sources, The New York Times report claimed that the US has placed a malware inside the Russian systems operating the nation's power grid so as to conduct cyber attacks if a conflict arises between the two countries in the future.

"Two administration officials said they believed Trump had not been briefed in any detail about the steps to place "implants" — software code that can be used for surveillance or attack — inside the Russian grid," said the report.

"Pentagon and intelligence officials described broad hesitation to go into detail with Trump about operations against Russia for concern over his reaction — and the possibility that he might countermand it or discuss it with foreign officials, as he did in 2017 when he mentioned a sensitive operation in Syria to the Russian foreign minister," it added.

Trump's National Security Adviser John Bolton had recently said that the US was now taking a broader view of the potential digital targets as part of an effort "to say to Russia, or anybody else that's engaged in cyberoperations against us, 'You will pay a price."

In a couple of tweets on Saturday, the US President had refuted these claims and deemed the article a "virtual act of treason" written without "the slightest thought of consequence."

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The report adds that Trump himself has not been briefed about the details of the "implants" inside the Russian grid, in fear that he might countermand the operation or discuss it with the foreign officials

Story highlights

Citing unofficial sources, The New York Times report claimed that the US has placed a malware inside the Russian systems operating the nation's power grid so as to conduct cyber attacks.