President Barack Obama issued a subtle warning to Russia on Monday, noting that the United States has “more capacity than anybody, both offensively and defensively” when it comes to cyber weapons.
The remarks, made to reporters following the G-20 conference in Hangzhou, China, come amid signs of growing Russian interference in the Nov. 8 presidential election. U.S. officials have already pointed fingers at Russia for the recent breach of the Democratic National Committee’s servers, albeit anonymously, and law enforcement and intelligence agencies are reportedly concerned about a broader attempt by the Kremlin to disrupt or undermine the process.
The administration has faced pressure to publicly attribute those attacks to Russia, but Obama declined to do so explicitly, citing “specific investigations that are still live and active.”
“But I will tell you that we have had problems with cyber intrusions from Russia in the past, from other countries in the past,” he added. “And look, we’re moving into a new era here where a number of countries have significant capacities. And frankly we’ve got more capacity than anybody, both offensively and defensively.”