Moscow’s hacking attempt to influence the 2016 United States presidential elections has garnered a lot of attention in past few months. British Intelligence was one of the first to raise the alarm with a vital tip-off on the hacking in 2015. The information elucidated that Putin and the Russian Government hampered the elections by engaging in cyber attacks on Democratic National Committee’s political websites and hacked e-mail accounts to damage Hillary Clinton’s chances to win against Donald Trump. Later, a set of documents were leaked on Wikileaks shedding more light on the issue.
Initially, President-elect Donald Trump denied of all accusations on Russia’s influence on the election and dismissed claims that the Russians were trying to help him. He rather questioned the U.S. intelligence agencies when CIA concluded Russia’s meddling in the issue. Putin has also denied any role in the hacks. Now, Donald Trump has resurfaced acknowledging Russian interference in the matter and his advisors are struggling to clarify his diplomatic behavior. According to The Guardian, Reince Priebus, Chairman of the Republican National Committee, announced on Sunday, “The president-elect is not denying that entities in Russia were behind this particular hacking campaign.”
Russia’s engagement in cyber attacks during the U.S. presidential election is an example of how deep the attackers can go, even in the most secure cyber infrastructure of governmental institutions. It is not unusual for a political party to take extreme measures in order to win an election but partnering with foreign government and engrossing in a cyber criminal activity like phishing official e-mails and tampering votes can result into a huge loss for the country. Now that Trump has been officially declared as the President, the intrusion of Russia might initiate chances a threatening cyber war. Not only is it condemning but also destructive to see data theft through cyber attacks at such paramount level.