Nation-state made “conscious effort to influence U.S. election” by leaking Clinton’s e-mails: NSA chief

Hillary Clinton’s e-mailswere leaked to WikiLeaks in a “conscious effort” by a nation state to influence the U.S. election, the director of the National Security Agency (NSA) has said.

Admiral Michael Rogers, who also commander of the US Cyber Command, told a Wall Street Journal conference earlier this week that the hacking of emails from Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) had not been “by chance.”

Rogers did not name the state responsible for the hacking, but his comments came after the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Department of Homeland Security last month formally and publicly accused Russia of stealing the emails and giving them WikiLeaks.

The U.S. Intelligence Community (USIC) is confident that the Russian Government directed the recent compromises of e-mails from US persons and institutions, including from US political organizations,” the statement from the two agencies said.

A senior Obama administration official told the AP that the United States would respond “at a time or place of our choosing,” but retaliation would likely not occur publicly. 

CBS News reports that Rogers, response to a question about WikiLeaks, said: “There should be no doubt in anybody’s mind, this was not something that was done casually, this was not something that was done by chance, this was not a target that was selected purely arbitrarily.

This was a conscious effort by a nation state to attempt to achieve a specific effect.”

Quartz reports that Rogers went on to say that the NSA was trying to “make life harder” for hackers. Part of that effort involved “dealing directly” with a “host” of countries and telling them what the US considered acceptable behavior when it comes to online activities. Vice president Joe Biden said last month that the U.S. would covertly retaliate against Russian attacks.

Rogers told NPR previously that there was no clear set of rules of engagement among countries when it came to cyberwarfare. “We are not in a world of clear definitions right now,” he said.

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