Obama vows to punish Russia over election-related hacks

Obama is hopeful incoming president Donald Trump will take the hacking seriously

U.S. President Barack Obama pledged to punish Russia for hacking of Democratic groups and figures during the election season with actions that’ll occur in secret and others that’ll be made public.

“Our goal continues to be to send a clear message to Russia or others not to do this to us because we can do stuff to you,” Obama said in a press conference.

The President stopped short of explicitly blaming Russian president Vladimir Putin for directing the alleged hacks, but said that, “not much happens in Russia without Vladimir Putin.”

Obama met Putin during a summit in China in September and told him to "cut it out" and or else "there would be some serious consequences if he didn't," he said. After that meeting, the hacking attempts stopped but Wikileaks had already been given copies of stolen documents.

Obama is vowing action against Russia when incoming president Donald Trump likely won’t. Trump has instead dismissed claims that the Russian government interfered with the U.S. election to help him win.

Nevertheless, the Obama administration has ordered U.S. intelligence agencies to provide a report reviewing Russia’s alleged role in the election interference. The President intends to make as much of that report public as possible.

On Friday, reports said the FBI is siding with the CIA and has concluded Russia attempted to influence the U.S. election to help Trump win.

Obama said he want to avoid avoid politicizing the findings and hopes that Trump will share concern over the Kremlin’s effort to influence the election.

“What we've simply said is the facts,” Obama said.

However, the Russian government has continually denied any involvement. “They should either stop talking about that or produce some proof at last. Otherwise it all begins to look unseemly,” said the government’s presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Friday, according to a Russian state news agency.

On Thursday, Trump’s former rival in the presidential race, Hillary Clinton, blamed her defeat partly on Putin’s efforts to undermine her candidacy with the cyber meddling.

During presidential race, the Democratic National Committee and a Clinton campaign chairman, were hacked, resulting in sensitive emails being leaked to the public.

Two years ago, Obama faced another major hacking incident, this one involving a massive breach at Sony that was blamed on North Korea. To retaliate, the U.S. authorized additional economic sanctions against the country that targeted 10 North Koreans and its arms industry. The U.S. may have also been responsible for an internet outage that occurred in the country.

Sanctions, legal indictments and cyberattacks are possible options, but they may not be strong enough to punish Russia, cybersecurity experts say.

“We never had good responses to begin with,” said John Bambenek, a malware researcher with Fidelis Cybersecurity.

“Are we going to go to war with Russia over this? Theoretically, it is an option,” he said. “But that’s not a winning scenario.”  

On Friday, Obama said the U.S. will take a “thoughtful, methodical” approach, but he acknowledged that his government already has issued tough economic sanctions against Russia over the conflict involving the Crimean Peninsula.

He also only has about a month left before he leaves office.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Michael Kan

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?