David E Sanger: Obama Confronts Complexity of Using a Mighty Cyberarsenal Against Russia – The New York Times

[T]here are proposals to cut off leaders in Mr. Putin’s inner circle from their hidden bank accounts in Europe and Asia. There is an option to use sanctions under a year-old executive order to ban international travel for senior officials in the G.R.U., the Russian military intelligence unit that American spy agencies say stole emails from the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, then doled them out to WikiLeaks, betting that media outlets eager for insider details would amplify them, doing the Kremlin’s work for it.

The National Security Agency and its military cousin, the United States Cyber Command, which is responsible for computer-network warfare, have worked up other ideas, officials said, though some have been rejected by the Pentagon.

Those plans could deploy the world-class arsenal of cyberweapons assembled at a cost of billions of dollars during Mr. Obama’s tenure to expose or neutralize some of the hacking tools favored by Russia’s spies — the digital equivalent of a pre-emptive strike. But the selection of targets by Americans and the accuracy of that retaliation could also expose software “implants” that the United States has patiently inserted and nurtured in Russian networks, in case of future cyberconflicts.

From: Obama Confronts Complexity of Using a Mighty Cyberarsenal Against Russia – The New York Times

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